As an accomplished general and colorectal surgeon, Peter M. Kaye, MD, FASCRS, has many tools at his disposal.
But lately, the surgical instrument that’s enhancing Dr. Kaye’s practice—“making me a better surgeon”—isn’t just a scalpel or a suction tube. Instead, it’s a robot called da Vinci that Dr. Kaye controls, performing surgeries that treat conditions from Crohn’s to cancer. Standing nearby, Dr. Kaye manipulates the robot’s “hands” with his own to treat his patients at Good Samaritan Hospital, a member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network.
“The robot gives better visualization and improved dexterity,” says Dr. Kaye, who performed the first robotic colon resection in Rockland County. “It’s a great tool for safe, effective surgery, and it maintains our low rates of cancer or tumor recurrence.”
Dr. Kaye brings a high level of surgical expertise to Good Samaritan. He received his medical degree from FUHS/Chicago Medical School in Illinois, and he completed his surgical residency at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York City, a fellowship in colon and rectal surgery at Grant Medical center in Columbus, Ohio, and joined Good Samaritan Hospital in 2010.
As a forward-thinking physician committed to patient care, Dr. Kaye knew that he needed to integrate this kind of surgery into his community practice.
The robot’s wrist mechanisms bend and rotate with far greater range than the human wrist, translating Dr. Kaye’s hand movements into even smaller, more precise mechanical movements inside the body. And the da Vinci allows Dr. Kaye to make the small incisions typical of laparoscopic surgery with far greater dexterity and control—and with the bonus of a magnified, 3D vision system.
“Traditional laparoscopic surgery,” says Dr. Kaye, is like having “a cast on my elbows and wrists, where I can only use my hands and fingers.” With the daVinci, “The robot removes the imaginary cast that restricts natural movement. Laparoscopic instruments are like chopsticks: They don’t bend. But with the robot, I have the use of my joints; I can dissect finer.”
And patients at Good Samaritan can enjoy less pain, quicker recovery and the convenience of treatment at their local hospital.
“We’re getting patients released after a colon resection in two days and back to normal activities.” he says. “We’re doing advanced, complex cases right here in our community hospital, achieving wonderful outcomes and getting patients back to their normal lives.”
Dr. Kaye also focuses on restoring quality of life for patients with fecal incontinence, a surprisingly common condition in women that often begins with trauma and tears during labor and delivery, then progressively worsens. “Most people don’t go to the doctor for fecal incontinence; they just suffer,” says Dr. Kaye. “It affects more people than we know.”
For a minimally invasive treatment, Dr. Kaye relies on the sacral nerve stimulator called InterStim. Once Dr. Kaye implants the InterStim under the skin—a same-day procedure—the device releases mild electrical pulses to stimulate the sacral nerves that control the bowel and bladder.
“The InterStim is a game-changer,” he says. “It transforms my patients’ lives.”
Dr. Kaye, his wife and two daughters (9 and 11) live in New Jersey, where they enjoy running and the popular exercise regimen CrossFit. “The family that trains together,” he says, “stays together.” •