Somerset Medical Center Offers Innovative Robotic Surgery To Treat Sleep ApneaMedical Center?s Surgeons Were New Jersey?s First to Perform TransOral Robotic Surgery

Somerville, NJ (PRWEB) July 28, 2011

As part of its commitment to provide patients and the community with the treatment options for the latest and most advanced in the Somerset Medical Center was the first Hospital in New Jersey to perform transoral Robotic Surgery (TOR) for the treatment of dental disorders, head and neck. The medical center has recently introduced ToR for the surgical treatment of obstructive sleep apnea.


is an innovative, minimally invasive technique that allows doctors to access areas of the throat with the da Vinci Surgical System? that are otherwise difficult to reach. Compared to traditional open surgery, TORS provides surgeons with agility and precision, a three-dimensional imaging tip, and fewer limitations in the operative field. This procedure is done solely through the mouth, eliminating disfigurement, and ultimately improve the patient? S quality of life.


Somerset Medical Center? s ear, nose and throat Hekiert, MD, and Amy Lazar, MD, are two of only three doctors trained in New Jersey certified to perform these procedures and are among only a few surgeons trained in the torso around the country the treatment of sleep apnea and head and neck selected.


Hekiert conducted in New Jersey? S TORS first procedure last fall at Somerset Medical Center. She and Mr. Lazar were otolaryngologists in private practice in ENT and Allergy Associates? LLP in Boston.

Sleep apnea is a common

that blocks the breakdown of the lungs during sleep. Treatment options include the use of nocturnal continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine or surgery. Robotic surgery now allows sleep apnea to be treated at the root, removing obstructive tissue at the base of the tongue that interferes with breathing.

? Somerset Medical Center has expanded the treatment options available for people suffering from sleep apnea? Said Adrianna Hekiert, MD,? by giving patients the option of having specially trained surgeons who use cutting-edge technology in the operation.

? It is important to note that surgeons using the da Vinci robot as a tool and every movement is controlled by the specific surgeon. Compared to traditional surgery, leaves the TORS patients with fewer complications, reduced pain, shorter hospital stays, no scars, and especially a faster recovery.?

“Being one of the first in the state to perform TORS to cure sleep apnea Somerset Medical Center is at the forefront of finding safe and effective ways to treat this common sleep disorder. Most importantly, it allows our patients to recover faster and have fewer complications in the operating table? Otolaryngologist said Amy Lazar, MD? It is a great honor this inauguration, the latest technology to the community in an effort to offer our patients the best care possible. “

Dr. Lazar

? S TORS sleep apnea patients Ron M. Krill, 69, of Bridgewater, underwent robotic-assisted reduction base of the tongue at Somerset Medical Center in June and was released from the hospital two days later. The day of Mr. Krill procedure was able to speak and swallow. Later this week, he visited Somerset Medical Center to watch a demonstration of the da Vinci robot and even tested.

? I could not have been more pleased with the results and I am extremely happy that I opted for this procedure to change life? Mr. Krill said. ? I noticed an improvement in my breathing pattern and level of comfort when I went to bed the next day. The minor discomfort after the procedure is nothing compared to the best quality of life I lived, I sleep better, have more energy and possibly live longer with this procedure.

Candidates for this procedure are first evaluated by Dr. M. Lazar Hekiert or through a comprehensive review in which they examine the patient? sleep pattern s and visualize the anatomy of the upper airways with a small camera.

The next step is to sleep or nasoendoscopy END – a new advanced technique to diagnose the site of obstruction. This is a minor procedure, the patient is under anesthesia at low doses to mimic conditions during natural sleep apnea. In NIS, a flexible endoscope is passed briefly into the nose in the upper airways and real-time snoring and apnea may be observed. ? The patient s unique anatomical model of the collapse of the upper airway is located, and may include one or more of the following sites: the soft palate and tonsils, base of the tongue, the epiglottis and the sides of the gorge. This information is then used as a guide produced for the appropriate selection for surgery.

If the airway obstruction due to

large tongue base is confirmed, the patient is offered TORS. The typical candidate is Tors tried CPAP and was not able to tolerate, or who continues to live the events of apnea despite the use of the mask.

In addition to

TORS, Somerset Medical Center? s Institute for robotic surgery offers treatment options for prostate, kidney, gynecological cancers and colorectal cancers.

? We are proud to be one of the only few community hospitals to offer this advanced technology? Said Maureen Schneider, Ph.D. (c), MSN, MBA, RN, CNE. BC, CPHQ, FACHE, senior vice president of clinical development and chief nursing officer at Somerset Medical Center. ? Our program of robotic surgery has increased dramatically over the past year and it is very exciting to see our innovative robotic surgeons in the treatment of oral, head and neck disorders, including sleep apnea. Our surgeons are supported by a dedicated team of OR nurses who have specialized training in robotic surgery.?


Hekiert in practice with ENT and Allergy Associates in Somerville, New Jersey, is certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. She is a member of the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, American Society rhinology, and the Society of robotic surgery. ENT specialist Dr Hekiert adult and pediatric minimally invasive surgical treatment of sinus problems, the management of obstructive sleep apnea at the forefront of robotic technology, as well as salivary, thyroid and parathyroid surgery.

Dr Lazar, also in practice with ENT Associates allergy Somerville, New Jersey, is certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, and is a member of the American Academy of Otolaryngology and Heck and Neck Surgery, the American Rhinology Society and the Society of robotic surgery. Scope of practice includes pediatric and adult ENT, treatment of sinus disorders using state of the art technology, including balloon sinuplasty and 3D image guidance, snoring and obstructive sleep apnea surgery and the endocrine system and surgery of the salivary glands.

To learn more about robotic surgery at Somerset Medical Center, visit or call 800-443-4605 for a recommendation of a physician.

For more information on allergies and ENT please visit Associates LLP


Somerset Medical Center

Somerset Medical Center is a national, accredited, regional medical center providing comprehensive emergency, medical / surgical and rehabilitation and a wide range of community programs to Central New Jersey residents. It is nationally recognized as a magnet? hospital for nursing excellence. The medical center is a subsidiary of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and a clinical research affiliate of the Cancer Institute of New Jersey. For more information please visit


ENT Allergy & Associates

ENT Allergy Associates, LLP, the largest practice of board certified ear, nose and throat surgeons and Allergists in the nation, has 125 physicians in 37 offices. Each location offers access to a full range of services including general adult and pediatric ENT, Voice and Swallowing, Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, disorders of the inner ear and dizziness, asthma, Clinical Immunology, diagnostic audiology and hearing aid dispensing. Visit for more information.

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One Response to Somerset Medical Center Offers Innovative Robotic Surgery To Treat Sleep ApneaMedical Center?s Surgeons Were New Jersey?s First to Perform TransOral Robotic Surgery

  1. Jose Olvera says:

    Hi there,
    I currently have been diagnosed with mild sleeping apnea.
    I am very interested in follow the procedure that Dr. hekiert offers.
    I leave in Northen California and therefore, I need to know in advance an estimated price for the medical procedure and which insurances are accepted.
    Thanks a lot.
    Jose Olvera.

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