Ocala Health February 12, 2015

Ocala, FL – The first minimally-invasive esophagectomy in greater Marion County was performed by Omeni Osian, MD, cardiothoracic surgeon, and Angel Caban, MD, general surgeon specializing in minimally invasive surgery, both of Ocala Health, on a 74-year-old female patient diagnosed with esophageal cancer. Drs. Osian and Caban collaborated on the 4-hour procedure at Ocala Regional Medical Center on December 10, 2014.

Minimally invasive esophagectomy is a technically challenging surgery to remove the lower two-thirds or nearly the entire esophagus, along with the upper part of the stomach, and all of the surrounding lymph nodes. The stomach is then reshaped into a “new esophagus,” brought up into the chest or the neck, and reconnected to the remaining portion of the esophagus. Most of the time, esophagectomy is done to treat cancer of the esophagus.

“Offering services like this right in our community means that residents don’t have to travel to Tampa, Orlando, or Gainesville for highly intricate surgeries,” noted Hayley Creasey, oncology and general surgery service line director, Ocala Health. “If their medical oncologist or radiation oncologist are nearby, their surgeons should be too. Providing a cancer patient’s continuum of care close to home is a key part of recovery.”

The minimally invasive procedure performed by Drs. Osian and Caban involved tiny incisions, through which a small scope and miniature surgical instruments are passed. These are connected to a video camera that sends a magnified image from inside the body to a monitor, giving the surgeon a close-up view of the anatomy.

This instrumentation is used to first remove the diseased esophageal tissue and surrounding lymph nodes. Surgeons then move to the stomach which is pulled up into the chest and connected to the remaining, healthy portion of the esophagus. The advantages of minimally invasive versus open esophagectomy include less post-operative pain, faster recovery, shorter hospital stay, and a more rapid return to work and normal activities.

Minimally-invasive esophagectomy is just one of several collaborative firsts for Ocala Health in recent weeks. Dr. Osian and cardiologist Prem Singh, MD, collaborated on surgical intervention for a 78-year old male with an infrarenal abdominal aortic aneurysm. This procedure was a same-day surgery, handled in Ocala Regional’s specials lab, and the patient was able to go home later that day.

“The level of patient acuity and need for more specialized treatment is being seen on both of our hospital campuses (Ocala Regional and West Marion Community Hospital). Highly skilled, specially trained physicians, nurses and techs are helping us bring this elevated level of care to our patients,” Creasey added.

Ocala Regional is Marion County’s only accredited comprehensive cancer center since 1983, offering comprehensive cancer services to patients and extensive supportive care to include: oncology certified nurses, oncology surgery, specialty trained pathologist, designated oncology unit, oncology patient navigation, clinical dietician, oncology trained pharmacist, weekly multi-disciplinary tumor boards, outpatient infusion, and ACS registration on-site. The Cancer Center is also involved in several community organizations with cancer-related activities and causes.