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Monday, September 22, 2014 - Roper St. Francis leader in Lowcountry conducting complex minimally-invasive lung surgery for cancer

CHARLESTON, S.C. (Sept. 22, 2014) - Roper St. Francis has expanded its robotic surgery program to become the leader in the Lowcountry to offer complex minimally-invasive lung surgery for cancer.

Chest and lung surgery once required a large incision, but Roper St. Francis patients who need thoracic surgery now have a choice. With robotic chest and lung surgery, surgeons can operate through a few small incisions. The 3D view offers magnification at 10 times the normal sight of the surgeon. The tiny instruments that they use can bend and rotate well beyond the capabilities of the human wrist to provide superior results. For patients, that means smaller scars, less pain, less blood loss, shorter hospital stays and faster recoveries.

Dr. Elizabeth Kline, a board certified thoracic surgeon and pioneer of Roper St. Francis’ new chest and lung robotic surgery program, said she likes being on the forefront of cutting-edge technology because of the benefit to the community. This month, Dr. Kline and her team conducted their 20th robot thoracic procedure.

“It’s nice when patients have options,” she said. “Patients right here in the Lowcountry can now be offered a surgical option that reduces the size of the incision, allows them to recover faster and helps eliminate some of the complications associated with an open incision surgery.”

Currently, Greenville and Spartanburg were the only two locations outside of the Lowcountry that offered complex robotic surgery options for people with lung cancer and other chest and lung diseases.

Kline said she understands that not every patient will be a candidate for robotic surgery, and some patients may not fully understand the added benefits when it is an option.

“As a doctor, it’s my job to make sure my patients fully understand the pros and cons of any option they are presented,” she said. “Only after all the facts are known can a patient make the best informed decision regarding their health care. It’s rare to find a patient who doesn’t want to minimize the appearance of a surgery, have less pain and get out of the hospital faster.”

And that’s exactly what robotic assisted lung and chest surgery does.

Roper St. Francis’ comprehensive robotic surgery program uses a collaborative approach that is aimed at prevention, early detection and minimally invasive treatment of lung cancer and other diseases of the chest and lungs.

Kline said it’s important to find a doctor who is well trained in robotic surgery technology, adding that all credit goes to a Roper St. Francis team for making robotic cases a success. To find an experienced doctor at Roper St. Francis, call (843) 402-CARE (2273).

About Roper St. Francis
Roper St. Francis is the Lowcountry’s only private, not-for-profit healthcare provider. The healthcare system has an active medical staff of more than 800 doctors representing every medical specialty, and it provides services in more than 100 locations in seven counties. Learn more at


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