John Marks, M.D., medical director of the Colorectal Cancer Program at Lankenau Medical Center, was recently invited to the National Cancer Institute of Mexico to present three lectures on Lankenau’s minimally invasive colorectal surgical and robotics program. Following the presentations, Dr. Marks performed a laparoscopic rectal cancer operation that was televised live to several hundred surgeons in attendance at the conference.
“It was an honor to have been chosen to present my lectures to physicians in Mexico about the important advancements in colorectal cancer treatment,” says Dr. Marks. “While medical care in Mexico is quite advanced, in some areas—particularly those in surgeries that are technology-dependent—they are significantly behind. While I've personally performed close to 2,000 laparoscopic colorectal surgeries, this approach is just starting to be done with regularity in Mexico. The focus of this week-long symposium was to expand their usage of minimally invasive surgeries in the treatment of cancer, and they are very interested in our colorectal cancer program that we currently have at Lankenau.”
Serving as the centerpiece of the symposium were two live telesurgeries broadcasted to hundreds of surgeons and health care professionals in attendance, performed by Dr. Marks in one operating room and Dr. Morris E. Franklin, director of the Texas Endosurgery Institute, in another operating room. By demonstrating an actual procedure in real time, Dr. Marks gave important lessons of the surgical cancer techniques while treating the patient’s rectal cancer without the need for a colostomy bag, which had originally been planned for her care. This operation provided the patient with a minimally invasive, advanced treatment option with a much speedier recovery. Instead of the typical 2-week length of stay with the traditional rectal cancer treatment options in Mexico, she was able to be discharged four days after the procedure.
Dr. Marks’ lectures, titled “Transanal TEM with Coloanal Anastomosis and Transabdominal Assistance in the Treatment of Low Rectal Cancer," “Laparoscopic Rectal TEM With or Without Robotic Tools: Benefits for Patients, Surgeons, Hospital and/or Health System,” and "Local Excision – TEM," offered background and information on the clinical benefits of minimally invasive surgery as well as lessons on how to implement similar approaches in everyday surgical practice.
As an international leader in the field of colorectal surgery, Dr. Marks has introduced several surgical techniques—such as Robotic Tata, Transanal Endoscopic Microsurgery and Single Incision Laparoscopic procedures—to spare colon and sphincter function with little to no scarring, resulting in thousands of patients who go on to lead normal lives after a diagnosis of colon and rectal cancers.
Lankenau Medical Center, a member of Main Line Health, is recognized as a national leader in advancing new options to diagnose and treat illness, protect against disease and save lives. Located on a 93-acre suburban campus just outside of Philadelphia, the 389-bed, not-for-profit teaching hospital includes one of the nation’s leading cardiovascular centers; the Lankenau Institute of Medical Research, one of the few freestanding hospital-associated research centers in the nation; and the Annenberg Conference Center for Medical Education. Lankenau offers state-of-the-art services from cancer care to maternity care. Lankenau is ranked number seven in Pennsylvania and number four in the Philadelphia metro area in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals, is ranked nationally for diabetes and endocrinology, and is high-performing in 11 of 16 potential categories: cancer, cardiology and heart surgery, ear, nose and throat, gastroenterology and GI surgery, geriatrics, gynecology, nephrology, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopedics, pulmonology and urology. Lankenau has achieved The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for stroke care and breast cancer care and is one of the nation’s Top Performing Hospitals for heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia and surgical care. Lankenau has also been ranked for multiple years as one of the top 50 cardiovascular hospitals in the nation by Truven Health Analytics. The hospital has achieved MAGNET® designation, the nation’s highest award for excellence in nursing care. For more information about Lankenau Medical Center, visit mainlinehealth.org/lankenau.
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