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Arizona's First Robotic Assisted Thyroidectomy Performed at PVH

10/21/2009 1:00:00 AM


Luis Gonzalez

Director, Marketing & Public Relations

Paradise Valley Hospital



For Immediate Release




Patient’s Thyroid removed via small incisions in chest & armpit;

procedure spares patient traumatic scar across neck


Phoenix, AZ (October 21, 2009) – Officials at Paradise Valley Hospital today announced Arizona’s first Robotically Assisted Thyroidectomy (removal of the thyroid). The procedure, performed with Arizona’s only operating da Vinci Si robotic surgical system; the third generation model representing true High Definition (HD) surgery, was performed on Ashley Starr, a 28 year old patient, by Francisco Rodriguez, MD, of Valley Surgical Clinics.


“Through thoughtful consultation, the patient and I decided that using the da Vinci was the best option for her case,” Dr. Rodriguez said. “The robot facilitated the removal of the thyroid through a small incision in the armpit saving her the lifelong, across-the-neck scar she would have faced with traditional, open surgery. I must also stress how thankful I am that Dr. Patel of Advanced Endocrinology and Metabolism, PC, quickly identified the issue and referred her to me. With his actions, we likely averted a much more severe situation,” Dr. Rodriguez added.


Ms. Starr says she was concerned about the possibility that she might have to live with the obvious scar that is common with thyroid procedures so when an alternate option was presented, she was more than receptive. “When Dr. Rodriguez spoke of not only the clinical, but also the cosmetic benefits of using the da Vinci, I was immediately convinced that this was what I wanted,” Starr said. “I am absolutely in awe of my quick recovery; I am amazed,” she concluded.


Paradise Valley Hospital, one of two hospitals in the Abrazo Health Care system to exclusively offer the latest generation da Vinci Si models, is enjoying immediate positive response to the device. Steve Sisto, Paradise Valley Hospital’s CEO commented, “Our existing da Vinci trained surgeons, as well as other surgeons in the community, are absolutely elated with the da Vinci Si’s capabilities. Moreover, our patients are experiencing shorter hospital stays, greater positive outcomes and much more cosmetically appealing results.”


About Paradise Valley Hospital
Paradise Valley Hospital
, an Affiliate of Abrazo Health Care was founded in 1983. With more than 700 employees and 125 active volunteers, Paradise Valley Hospital cares for more than 82,000 people each year. Some distinctive services include emergency medicine, minimally invasive da Vinci robotic surgery, orthopedic surgery, bariatric surgery, cardiac rehabilitation, wound care & hyperbaric medicine and obstetrics. Paradise Valley Hospital’s mission is to enhance the health of the North Valley Community through high quality, compassionate, and convenient healthcare. We strive to be a great place for employees to work, physicians to practice, and patients to receive care. For more information, visit

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