LewisGale surgeon completes 500th robotic surgery and launches new procedure

Published: Mar. 9, 2022 at 6:56 AM EST
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MONTGOMERY Co., Va. (WDBJ) - As WDBJ7 continues to celebrate Women’s History Month, a surgeon is being honored for completing her 500th robotic surgery. Her name is Dr. Amanda Reese.

Dr. Reese is a board-certified general surgeon at LewisGale Montgomery Hospital. She is one of the few women who use robots to complete life-changing surgeries for hundreds of patients.

On top of completing her 500th robotic surgery, Dr. Reese performed the first robotic transversus abdominis muscle release, or TAR, in the New River Valley.

TAR is a technique used to repair very large hernias. The abdominal wall is composed of layers, including the transverse abdominis, a layer comprised of muscle and fascia. The procedure releases the transverse abdominis layer, allowing the surgeon to stretch the patient’s own tissues to cover hernia defects.

“Large hernias used to be considered irreparable, depending on the size. With the TAR method, repair of these large hernias is now possible,” said Dr. Reese. “The robotic TAR involves six small incisions, compared to a very large incision involved in the open technique, reducing hospital stay, offering the patient less post-operative pain, and allowing for a quicker return to normal activities.”

This helps the patient’s recovery and overall time in the hospital shorter.

Dr. Reese says she wouldn’t be where she is today without her team and of course her mother.

“I have a lot of amazing women that I work with every day and I couldn’t be who I was without them. There are also a lot of men who have played a huge role in supporting me. Especially, you know, realizing the struggles that I face as a woman and the biases I face, and actually being aware of that and being supportive of that has been huge and made me come into my own if you will,” Dr. Reese.

Her advice to young women, and what she says to her daughters, is that they are special, capable, and can do anything they put their minds to.

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