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DMH to launch robotic-assisted surgery

BONIFAY – Doctors Memorial Hospital is poised to become the first rural hospital in the Florida Panhandle to perform robotic-assisted surgeries with the unveiling Thursday of its Da Vinci Robotic Surgical System.


Hospital administrators say the system can be used across a spectrum of minimally invasive surgical procedures and has been optimized for multi-quadrant surgeries in the areas of gynecology, urology, thoracic, cardiac, and general surgery.


They also say it’s a sign of commitment to the community and good stewardship of the half-cent sales tax approved by Holmes County voters last November.


“When we won that surtax, that heightened the level of obligation and commitment we have to this community,” said DMH Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Huy Nguyen during the unveiling.

“A community hospital, especially in a community like this, is always important, but when the citizenship of that community steps up and gives [that hospital] a greater subsidy so that it can grow and thrive, the obligation on that hospital to meet that commitment is more so than ever. From top on down at this hospital, we believe in that ethos.”


Dr. John Thomas is the General Surgeon who will initially perform most of the robotic assisted procedures. Dr. Thomas explained that multiple studies have demonstrated that the robotic surgical approach was associated with the best outcomes.


“Of the minimally invasive approaches, there was an overall lower 30-day complication and readmission rates,” said Dr. Thomas. “There is also a lower risk for post-op infection, shorter recovery time, and minimum scarring.”

Thomas said the system also allows for greater visualization during procedures, giving surgeons the opportunity to observe correct other issues they may encounter during the procedure if the patient has given consent beforehand.


Dr. Nguyen states that as the hospital continues to grow, so will its services. 

“We’re not only committed to working hard in this community; we are committed to working innovatively and smartly,” said Dr. Nguyen. “Sometimes, in a smaller hospital, there’s a sense that we get less. You don’t get to play with the latest toys; you don’t get to think outside of the box.”


“But I tell you this: this hospital, in moving forward, will not only think outside of the box, but it’s committed to bringing leading edge care to this community. Just because you live in a smaller community doesn’t mean you don’t have access to world class, leading edge healthcare.”

The first robotic assisted surgery is scheduled to take place at DMH at the end of June.

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