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Fort Sanders Regional’s extensive surgical capabilities are transforming the surgery experience for patients in East Tennessee. From the area’s first robotically-assisted surgery system, image-guided brain and spinal cord procedures, to our brand new hybrid operating room, Fort Sanders Regional provides patients more options and the best surgical technology available. We also offer traditional surgical options including advanced laparoscopy and day surgery procedures.

Surgical Robotically-Assisted Surgery

Fort Sanders introduced the robotics system to East Tennessee in December 2004. The surgeon’s hand and finger movements are performed on a computer console that is directly linked to robotic instruments positioned inside the patient through tiny incisions. The small incisions mean less pain, a shorter hospital stay, and a quicker recovery for patients.

Hybrid Operating Room

Hybrid operating rooms provide many surgeons the ability to more accurately perform delicate procedures, by allowing for real time CT imaging during a procedure.  In the past, most operating rooms had a portable unit to provide imaging assistance.

Laparoscopic Surgery

Laparoscopic surgery has become the procedure of choice for many patients and surgeons in our area because if offers less scarring, less pain, and a more rapid recovery.  A laparoscope is a narrow, tube-like instrument with a camera and light on the tip. The camera is connected to a television screen, giving surgeons a magnified view of the treatment area. The laparoscope is designed to allow physicians to see tissue and organs inside the abdominal cavity without fully opening it with a surgical incision. For most laparoscopic surgeries, the scope is inserted either through the abdominal wall or belly button.

Laparoscopy can be used for several different types of procedures, including removal of the gallbladder, appendix, adrenal gland, and several types of hernias (hiatal, incisional, inguinal, etc.). Advanced laparoscopic procedures include liver biopsies, splenectomies (removal of the spleen) and bowel resections. Laparoscopy can also provide a long-term solution to patients suffering from gastro-esophogeal reflux, or chronic heartburn.

Most laparoscopic surgeries are performed on an outpatient basis, with patients in the hospital less than 24 hours. Recovery time is greatly minimized with most patients returning to work in just three to five days.

Surgical Specialties

Bariatric Surgery

Fort Sanders Center for Bariatric Surgery is accredited as a Comprehensive Center under the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement and offer board-certified surgeons with 25 years of combined experience and 3,000 bariatric surgeries.

Cardiothoracic Surgery

Cardiothoracic surgery is the field of medicine involved in the surgical treatment of organs inside the chest. Heart (cardiac) and chest (thoracic) surgeons at Fort Sanders Regional diagnose and surgically treat conditions of the heart, lungs, chest and esophagus. Fort Sanders Regional specializes in a variety of cardiac treatment and intervention procedures.

Colon/Rectal Surgery

Surgeons specializing in colon/rectal surgeries evaluate and treat patients with lower intestinal tract abnormalities (large bowel, rectum and anus), colorectal cancer, or other ailments such as hemorrhoids. At one time, these procedures were all performed by open surgery; however, now most are done using laparoscopy.  This minimally-invasive technique offers smaller incisions, fewer complications and a faster recovery time.

Day Surgery

Day surgery, also known as outpatient surgery, allows patients to return home the same day of their surgical procedure. These procedures are typically less invasive and include common surgeries such as tonsillectomies, hernia repairs, and gallbladder removal. Not all patients are candidates for day surgery and some procedures require hospitalization.  

General Surgery

General surgery is a surgical specialty that focuses on abdominal contents including esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, liver, pancreas, gallbladder, appendix and bile ducts, and often the thyroid gland.


Neurosurgeons provide surgical intervention for brain tumors, aneurysms and hemorrhages, as well as a host of spine conditions. Neurosurgeons provide surgical relief for a host of issues caused by nerve and muscle diseases, carpal tunnel syndrome, chronic back pain and conditions resistant to medical management, like Parkinson’s disease.

Our neurosurgeons use the latest technology including StealthStation Treon Plus®. StealthStation Treon helps guide our neurosurgeons through a variety of operations, including neurological and spinal procedures. This 3D imaging system uses global positioning technology to give physicians real time views inside the body, without radiation. With image-guided information, a surgeon can create a precise, detailed map of the surgical area and pinpoint the exact position needed for surgical instruments. The Stealth Treon® system allows less invasive operations and helps avoid brain and nerve damage.

Orthopedic Surgery

Orthopedic surgery is the branch of medicine concerned with diseases, injuries, and conditions of the musculoskeletal system relating to the body’s muscles and skeleton, and including the joints, ligaments, tendons, and nerves. Fort Sanders Regional’s Joint Center is a leader in hip and knee joint replacement providing pain relief, mobility and activity. Our team of experienced orthopedic surgeons, nurses, clinicians, and therapists work together to stay on top of the latest technological advances and minimally invasive surgical techniques to provide better care for patients.

Plastic Surgery

Plastic surgery is a surgical specialty involved with both the improvement in a person’s appearance and the reconstruction of facial and body tissue defects due to illness, trauma, or birth disorders. Plastic surgery restores and improves function, as well as appearance. It can involve surgery on any part of the anatomy, except the central nervous system

Sinus Surgery

Many conditions of the ear, nose, and throat require clinical care by a physician or other health care professional. Otolaryngologists, commonly called ENT’s, diagnose and manage diseases and disorders of the ear, nose, throat, and other related structures. If surgery is needed, Fort Sanders Regional provides the latest technology used for endoscopic sinus procedures.

Endoscopic sinus surgery is a procedure to open the passages of the nose and sinuses. It is done to treat long-term sinus infections. Surgery is called endoscopic because an instrument called an endoscope is used. This is a small, rigid tube with a light and a camera at the end. Small cuts are made in the nose and sinuses to allow the scope to pass. The surgeon then uses small tools to do the surgery.

Different procedures may be done. They include:

  • Removal of adenoids with or without sinus wash – Adenoids are small glands behind the nose. Adenoids may cause problems with the sinuses. The sinuses may be washed (irrigated). The fluid is collected and sent to the lab to check for infection.
  • Balloon sinus dilation – Small balloons are dilated to open passages in the sinuses.
  • Functional endoscopic sinus surgery – The surgeon uses an endoscope during surgery to open sinus passages, remove growths, or fix other problems.

Surgical Oncology

Surgical oncologists specialize in various types of cancers and work with the oncology team to remove tumors and do biopsies.  

Vascular Surgery

Vascular surgery is a surgical specialty in which diseases of the vascular system, or arteries, veins and lymphatic circulation, are managed by medical treatment.