2006-04-14 / Community

Debuts New Surgical Technique

Left to right: Dr. Nick H. Gabriel, Surgeon,  Mr.  Fred Stellato.   Center Front:  Jacqueline Stellato .Left to right: Dr. Nick H. Gabriel, Surgeon, Mr. Fred Stellato. Center Front: Jacqueline Stellato . Jacqueline Stellato, resident of Breezy Point, was the very first to undergo a "first of a kind in the Rockaways" laparoscopic (minimally invasive) colon resection.

Dr. Nick H. Gabriel joined the staff at Peninsula Hospital Center in March of 2005 and serves as its Surgical Residency Program Director, performed the peninsula medical-history-making surgery on April 3 utilizing new state-of-the-art laparoscopic technology recently acquired by the Hospital Center. "The medical staff is very excited that this type of laparoscopic surgery is available at PHC," says Dr. Peter Galvin, Chief Medical Officer. "It affords the Rockaway community access to cutting-edge surgical technology previously not available on the peninsula. Patients needing this type of surgery can be treated faster, discharged home faster and may return to normal life much more quickly than with conventional open surgery. Dr. Gabriel has placed the Hospital Center at the forefront of advanced surgical techniques." Dr. Gabriel also serves as the Chief of Minimally Invasive Surgical Education and Bariatric Surgery at a Manhattan teaching hospital and is a renowned lecturer on the subject of minimally invasive surgery.

"Patients needing this conventional surgery used to have an 8" to 10" incision compared to an incision of approximately 1", states Dr. Gabriel. "Time in the operating room is reduced, recovery time and time spent in the hospital is normally cut in half, the patient can be placed on a liquid diet the next day and very importantly, the patient is ambulatory the same day which contributes to the possibility of fewer post-surgical issues such as DVT and pulmonary complications."

Jacqueline Stellato and her husband, Fred, moved to Breezy Point in 1989 and were determined to stay with what they call their "family hospital" that "had served us well in the past." They are both delighted that only one week after the surgery, Jacqueline's life has all but returned to normal. "When I was told I was going to be the first patient to have this type of surgery at the Hospital Center," said Jacqueline, "I felt a little like a celebrity - there were so many observers! I was naturally apprehensive when I thought of having such major surgery. I figured that I would have a huge scar and a great deal of pain. However, the scar is barely visible, the pain was only discomfort at the most, I was walking around the same day as the surgery and, the best of all, I was recuperating in my own home only three days later...it's definitely the way to go!"

Peninsula Hospital Center recently upgraded its operating room and acquired the new surgical technology and equipment as part of its comprehensive overall strategic plan for 2006. The newly renovated Mammography Suite will be dedicated in June of 2006 and renovations are currently taking place in the 2-North unit of the Hospital Center. Plans are also in development to expand the inpatient dialysis unit and for construction of a new Pediatric Health Center.

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