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Hospital Performs Region’s First TAR Procedure

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Antelope Valley Medical Center (AVMC) continues to expand its capabilities to ensure local residents have access to a broad range of services right here in the Antelope Valley. Today, AVMC surgeons performed the area’s first transversus abdominus release, or TAR, surgery. This means patients suffering from complex hernias requiring surgery now have access to a novel and minimally-invasive procedure close to home.

Surgeons Emery Chen, M.D., and Rafael Lemus-Rangel, M.D., used the hospital’s state-of-the-art da Vinci robotic surgical system to repair a complex hernia, which is a hole or weakness in the abdominal muscles that allows organs or tissues to jut through. Prior to the robot, complex hernias required reconstruction of the abdominal wall, a surgery that requires an extended recovery time. The TAR procedure also decreases the chance of developing future hernias.

“Antelope Valley Medical Center has been very supportive of our efforts to expand robotic surgery in the Antelope Valley, especially in outpatient general surgery procedures,” said Dr. Chen. “We have completed more than 800 robotic surgeries in our careers, and we are excited to be able to offer the previously unavailable TAR procedure and allow local residents to receive quality healthcare without leaving the region.”

The cutting-edge technology of the da Vinci surgical system gives patients access to this ultra-precise option for urologic; gynecologic; and ear, nose and throat procedures. In addition to the TAR operation, the hospital is also one of the few facilities in the Los Angeles area to have specialized oral equipment that attaches to the robot, allowing surgeons to perform transoral robotic surgery (TORS) on the head and neck. Because robotic surgeries are minimally invasive, incisions are smaller and there is less blood loss resulting in fewer complications. Patients also benefit by having minimal scarring and a quicker return to daily activities.