AUSTIN, Texas — Recently, a surgeon at the Texas Institute for Robotic Surgery at St. David’s North Austin Medical Center was the first in Austin to perform a robotically-assisted laparoscopic radical trachelectomy to treat a patient with stage IB1 cervical cancer.

Paul Loar, M.D., a gynecologic oncology surgeon with the Texas Institute for Robotic Surgery, performed the robotic radical tracheletomy—the surgical removal of the cervix surrounding supportive tissue. This procedure leaves the uterus intact, and therefore, maintains the patient’s ability to have children.

“Using the da Vinci Xi Surgical System, we were able to perform a radical resection of the entire cervical tumor while preserving the patient’s fertility, resulting in not only a shorter recovery time but also many more options for the future,” Dr. Loar said. “This relatively new procedure is innovative, minimally invasive and most of all, effective.”

The complex surgery was performed in less than three hours, and the patient returned home the next day. Following this type of surgery, the cancer recurrence risk is low.

“The success of this surgery is a milestone for women’s health in the Austin area,” Thomas Payne, M.D., executive medical director of the Texas Institute for Robotic Surgery, said. “This procedure underscores St. David’s HealthCare’s commitment to providing the highest level of patient care using the most advanced, minimally invasive surgical options.”

The Texas Institute for Robotic Surgery—an international treatment, training and research center that combines excellence in robotic-assisted surgery and outcomes with education and training—was launched in March 2011. It houses the world’s largest collective intelligence on robotic surgery, bringing together information on quality, performance and cost from nearly 100 hospitals across the United States. It also features an educational epicenter designed to teach best practices to hospital leadership, surgeons and surgical teams involved in the delivery of robotic-assisted surgery.

St. David’s North Austin Medical Center

St. David’s North Austin Medical Center, located at 12221 North Mopac Expressway, is part of St. David’s HealthCare, one of the largest health systems in Texas, which was recognized with a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award—the nation’s highest presidential honor for performance excellence through innovation, improvement and visionary leadership—in 2014 and recognized as one of the top 15 health systems in the U.S. by Truven Health Analytics in 2012. The 378-bed multi-specialty, acute care facility is dedicated to the highest level of women’s health services, including maternity and newborn care with Level I, II and III nurseries at the adjacent St. David’s Women’s Center of Texas, as well as a 24-hour emergency department, the Texas Institute for Robotic Surgery, the Bariatric Center, heart and vascular center, neurology and neurosurgery, a kidney transplant program, inpatient and outpatient surgery, and acute inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation, among many others. St. David’s North Austin Medical Center is also home to St. David’s Children’s Hospital, which opened in December 2014. In 2012, 2013 and 2015, the hospital earned a national distinction for patient safety from The Leapfrog Group, an independent national nonprofit run by employers and other large purchasers of health benefits. St. David's North Austin Medical Center was named among the nation's 100 Top Hospitals by Truven Health Analytics for three consecutive years, from 2012 to 2014. For more information, please visit