French Physician Who Performed First Transatlantic Robotic Surgery to Visit OHSU

05/09/02    Portland, Ore.

Jacques Marescaux, M.D., to lead session showing how Oregon surgeons can harness the power of telemedicine

Gallbladder operations don't normally make headlines. But Jacques Marescaux, M.D., marked a milestone in high-tech medicine last September when he performed gallbladder surgery on a patient who was 4000 miles away from him, using the latest robotics and telemedicine technology. Marescaux was in New York City for the successful 54-minute surgery, dubbed "Operation Lindbergh". His patient was in an operating room in Strasbourg, France.

Marescaux, Chairman of the Department of Digestive and Endocrine Surgery at the University of Strasbourg, will discuss Operation Lindbergh and other breakthroughs in telemedicine as guest speaker for the OHSU Vukov Lecture, being held Friday, May 10 at the Multnomah Athletic Club. The Vukov lecture is supported by Silvio J. Vukov, M.D., a 1938 graduate of the University of Oregon Medical School, now the Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine.

Earlier on Friday, Marescaux will lead a mentoring session on telemedicine on the OHSU Marquam Hill campus in which he will use a sophisticated interactive video link to offer live guidance to a team of surgeons in an operating room at OHSU Hospital.

"Dr. Marescaux will be working with one of the powerful technological tools we currently have at OHSU to share medical information with other sites around the state, or around the country," said John Hunter, M.D., chairman of the OHSU Department of Surgery. "The video link we will be using allows a surgeon in one location not only to observe an operation remotely, but to control the view of the operation, and write onscreen "directions" to his counterparts in the operating room which they can easily refer to on monitors in the OR." The telemedicine technology now being used at OHSU can allow a surgeon in one location to "walk through" the steps of an operation with surgeons in a distant location who may be unfamiliar with the procedure.

Media are welcome to attend the mentoring session, being held at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, May 10 in the OHSU Surgery Department Library, third floor of Mackenzie Hall (call for directions). Reporters may also attend the lecture, beginning at 1:45 p.m. at the Multnomah Athletic Club. Please note: Neither event is open to the general public.

B-roll footage of Marescaux's Operation Lindbergh surgery is available on Betacam SP.

Reporters who would like to attend either the mentoring session, the lecture or both should contact Henry Sessions at (503) 892-3282 or Martin Munguia at (503) 494-4156.