Robotic-Assisted Surgery at Boston Medical Center Saves Woman’s Life

For Susan Hobby, life hasn’t been easy since her stroke. So last year when she was diagnosed with lung cancer, doctors at Boston Medical Center were concerned about Susan’s ability to undergo major surgery.

According to Susan’s doctor, thoracic surgeon Michael Ebright, “Mrs. Hobby, although she has a strong heart and strong lungs, if you asked her to cough she couldn’t really cough on demand. And being able to cough, breathe deeply and walk are really critical to recovering from a long surgery.”

Dr. Ebright decided to operate on Susan’s Lungs using BMC’s robotic surgical technology, a minimally invasive procedure that offered Susan a quicker recovery with less pain then traditional surgery.

“What we’ve started to do now are robotic-assisted lobectomies. And what the robotic instrument allows us to do is mimic the movement of the human wrist and hand. This puts less pressure and torque on the nerves and leads to less pain, an easier postoperative course and hopefully an easier recovery,” said Dr. Ebright.

While Boston Medical Center is the only hospital in Boston offering robotic-assisted lobectomies (removal of the part of the lung surrounding the tumor), this procedure is just one option BMC’s doctors consider for lung cancer patients.

“We have truly a multidisciplinary, patient-centric approach,” described Dr. Ebright. “We all meet weekly where most patients are discussed, in fact if Mrs. Hobby was a fly on the wall, she would’ve seen about 25 healthcare professionals all discussing her case around the table to determine what would be the best care plan for her particular tumor.”

Susan’s husband, Jack, believed his wife’s treatment was in the right hands. “Doctor Ebright made us feel very confident that we would have a successful procedure out of it. And we did,” said Jack.

According to Dr. Ebright, within a month after surgery, Susan was recovering well, wintering in Florida again as she has every year.

“Boston Medical Center really saved my wife’s life,” said Jack with Susan by his side.

“Thank you,” Susan added gratefully.

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