Physician Focus: Yitzhack Asulin

August 24, 2018

As we continue to bring more and more physicians on board to be a part of the team at the Institute for Robotic Surgery, we continue to bring their perspective and medical philosophy to the public at large.

Today, we speak to Dr. Yitzhack Asulin, director of female pelvic reconstructive surgery and robotic surgery at Hudson Regional Hospital, who tells about the new robotic surgery program through the Institute for Robotic Surgery at HRH, what types of operations can be performed with this new robotic technology, and why Hudson Regional Hospital in general is such a popular facility for physicians around the tri-state area. Originally from Israel, he is an active member of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Urogynecologic Society and Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons.

Robotic Surgery

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

My name is Yitzhack Asulin, and I’m the director of female pelvic reconstructive surgery and robotic surgery at Hudson Regional Hospital. I completed my training as an OB/GYN surgeon at Stamford Hospital in Connecticut.

What is your experience with the da Vinci Xi Robotic Surgical System?

I started doing robotic surgery approximately ten years ago, and I was one of the first surgeons in the country to complete 1,000 of these complex cases. Most of these surgeries have been completed in Northern New Jersey.

How does the da Vinci Xi Robotic Surgical System assist you in performing gynecological surgeries?

Robotic surgery is a relatively new surgical modality in gynecological surgery. It covers a wide range of gynecological surgeries from the most complex hysterectomies, myomectomies, pelvis reconstruction surgeries, to the minor cases that can be completed with the robot. The benefit of using robotic surgery for these cases is the fact that you can do all these cases with meticulous specificity, minimal incisions, and scarring. These are now same-day surgeries, compared to the “open” approach in the past where patients had to spend four to five days in the hospital.

What are some other benefits to the da Vinci Xi Surgical System?

Often, I’ll describe to patients that the amount of blood lost in surgery could be put in a teaspoon. There is virtually no blood loss during this surgery. Another great benefit is the minimal post-operative pain, which is minimal and much significantly reduced when compared to open cases. Many times patients can return to their regular activity within ten days as opposed to months when using open surgery. Also, patients who have had multiple complex abdomen surgeries are much easier to operate on with the da Vinci Xi Robotic Surgical System. The robot makes things much more clear.

What can you tell us about your new department at Hudson Regional Hospital?

As the director of female pelvic reconstructive surgery and robotic surgery at Hudson Regional Hospital, we have an excellent opportunity with the Institute for Robotic Surgery to provide the community with first-class gynecological surgery. We can provide the highest level of technology and the most up-to-date surgical modalities. Gone are the days of long recovery time. Everything you need is right here. We do have the most complex surgical system in the world. There is nothing better than the da Vinci Xi Robotic Surgical System. In Northern New Jersey, we don’t have a lot of options for robotic surgery. And the majority of cases in the US are done in an open, traditional approach. It’s only a matter of time before all complex cases will be completed with robotic surgery and I’m proud that the Institute for Robotic Surgery at Hudson Regional Hospital is leading the way in this regard. We are positioned to set an example and provide the highest quality of care.

What makes you excited about joining the team?

The great benefit that patients experience at Hudson Regional Hospital, including the Institute for Robotic Surgery, is that they will receive personalized, one-on-one care. Our team is first class. We have an incredible team in the OR from the support team, to the nursing staff, to the surgeons operating. We are providing excellent medical care. It is no longer necessary for patients in our area to seek out more extensive medical facilities or hospitals in New York City. We do provide the highest level of one-on-one care. You are not a number on the board. We give people very close attention. We focus on the little things that make a difference at the end of the day.

How are you building your new department?

At the Institute for Robotic Surgery, we are building this program which will attract many physicians in the area solely because they do not have access to the da Vinci robotic technology—even in larger hospitals. When it does exist, they are full programs, and it can prevent physicians from learning how to use the system and get comfortable. We provide exceptional training for surgeons, we recruit first-class physicians in other surgical specialties, and we have a team to support these people. The goal is always to have patients receive the best quality of care and be able to expand our menu of surgeries done with the da Vinci Xi Robotic Surgical System.

Is there anything you’d like to add?

Yes, another great benefit of having this technology is that we can target specific populations of people in the area. For example, we can perform gynecological procedures for more obese patients. We can finally use minimally invasive surgeries to help these patients. This gives them a much lower rate of postoperative infections. It is both a much more effective and safer procedure. When comparing open surgery to robotic surgery, in my experience, robotic surgery is more reliable than open surgery. When I complete a complicated case where I expect a lot of blood loss, the patient bounces back much quicker than I initially would have thought. As a surgeon, I feel that I have full control of the situation when using robots for surgery.

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