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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.

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.

StealthStation Treon Plus®

StealthStation Treon helps guide Fort Sanders 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.

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.

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.

Patient Stories

  • Nothing to Sneeze At

    Allergies. Almost everyone has them. And almost everyone either tries to ignore them or manage them with over-the-counter drugs. But allergies aren’t just part of living in the Great Smoky Mountains. Those itchy, watery eyes and runny noses are telling us something about our health.

  • “Something’s wrong.”

    Marilyn Roddy was experiencing symptoms of appendicitis, a condition in which the appendix becomes irritated and inflamed.

  • Recognizing a Hernia

    It’s been said that “no surgery is minor surgery if it’s your surgery.” There is some truth to that, but when it comes to hernia repair, you can rest assured that the surgeons at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center know what they’re doing.

  • Relief, at Last

    For Sally Andrew, celebrating 45 years of marriage to husband David turned out to be quite an adventure, thanks to spine surgery at Fort Sanders Regional.

  • The Right Choice

    Mary Jeffers goes the distance for hernia repair

  • Uncomplicating Life

    Patient is back to keeping up with her grandchildren after complex hernia repair at Fort Sanders Regional