About Surgery

The surgical team at Penn State Health St. Joseph is committed to providing children and adults the best possible surgical experience, with personalized care and state-of-the-art techniques. Surgical services include traditional as well as minimally invasive procedures such as robotic-assisted and laparoscopic surgeries.

Surgical Specialty Areas

Surgeons at St. Joseph’s treat a wide range of conditions, including:

  • General surgical conditions, such as hernias, stomach and intestinal disorders, gall bladder problems, appendicitis, some cancers and others
  • Gynecological conditions, such as uterine fibroids, endometriosis, abnormal or excessive uterine bleeding, tumors, pelvic organ prolapse and others
  • Heart conditions, such as heart valve disease, coronary artery disease, aneurysms and others
  • Neurological conditions involving the spinal cord, brain, neurovascular system and other areas
  • Orthopedic conditions, such as arthritis, bone or joint injuries, degenerative spine disorders, carpal tunnel syndrome and others
  • Vascular conditions, such as peripheral artery disease, varicose veins and others.

Surgical Techniques

For each surgery, our surgeons choose the most effective technique for you. Depending on your specific condition and overall health, we may recommend a care plan that includes one of these surgical techniques:

Robotic-assisted surgery

This is a type of minimally invasive surgery that results in less blood loss, pain and scarring, as well as shorter recovery times than with traditional, open surgery. It involves a series of tiny incisions, through which our doctors insert very small instruments and a high-definition video camera. These tools are mounted on robotic arms that give your surgeon maximum range of motion and allow extremely precise movements. At St. Joseph, robotic-assisted procedures are done with the state-of-the-art da Vinci® Xi surgical system.

Laparoscopic Surgery

This type of surgery is also minimally invasive and has advantages such as minimal blood loss, pain and scarring. Recovery times with laparoscopic surgery are shorter than with traditional, open surgery. Like robotic-assisted surgery, it involves using several small incisions to perform the procedure. However, instead of using robotic arms, your surgeon inserts tiny instruments and a high-definition video camera through tubes called catheters.

Traditional Open Surgery

This type of surgery uses longer incisions that provide a direct view of the surgical area. Your surgeon may recommend open surgery if it will have a better result and be safer for you. It may be used when your surgeon needs to see a very wide area or if you have scar tissue or other blockages that could interfere with the camera in a minimally invasive procedure.