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Press Releases

Robotic Surgery Program Soars at NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem

NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem Robotic Surgery team successfully completes over 400 surgeries since its launch in 2023

May 23, 2024

The da Vinci surgical system at NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem

New York, NY — NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem is thrilled to announce the one-year anniversary of the Robotic Surgery program. In 2023, Harlem Hospital introduced the state-of-the-art da Vinci surgical system as a means to perform surgical procedures with the advanced capabilities of robotic technology. The Robotics team has since grown to include a total of seven highly skilled surgeons specializing in Bariatrics, General Surgery, Gynecology and Urology. Together, they have leveraged the da Vinci system to perform complex procedures with precision, leading to enhanced patient outcomes including improved patient recovery times and overall satisfaction. Within just one year, the Robotic Surgery team has successfully completed over 400 surgeries using the da Vinci system. This remarkable achievement reflects not only the advanced capabilities of robotic technology, but also the dedication, skill, and teamwork of the staff.

“Congratulations to our team for continuing to improve the quality of life for patients in the Village of Harlem,” said NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem Chief Executive Officer Georges H. Leconte, MPA, FAB. “Having the expansion of services available in the Harlem community is extremely beneficial to those dealing with chronic diseases. Just one year ago, we had no idea the dynamic impact the addition of the da Vinci robot would have on the care delivery system. Thanks to the Robotic Surgery team of experts, patients continue to experience successful surgery with shorter recovery time, allowing them to get back to their everyday lives.”

“The Robotic Surgery program recently celebrated its first year at NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem,” said NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem Chief Medical Officer Maurice Wright, MD, FACP. “The program provides minimally invasive surgery with reduced healing time and decreased surgical complications. The program is growing exponentially, and we welcome this addition to the scope of surgery. We thank Dr. Sharique Nazir and the Robotic Surgery staff for delivering this service to our patients in central Harlem.”

“One year ago, Harlem Hospital embarked on a journey to transform surgical care through robotics,” said NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem Director of Bariatric/Robotic Surgery Sharique Nazir, MD, FACS, FASMBS, FICS. “This anniversary is not just about the technology. It is about lives we have touched and the future we are building. This celebration reflects our dedication to pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in healthcare, making us a pillar of excellence and a source of hope for our community by providing state-of-the-art surgical care, improving surgical outcomes and enhancing patient recovery times.”

“Robotic assisted surgery has many patient safety benefits cited in literature including smaller incisions, shorter hospital stays and lower incidence of surgical site infections,” said NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem Patient Safety Officer Risa Bochner, MD, MPH. “Disparities in access to centers with robotic surgery are well known with reduced access in areas that serve low-income and uninsured patients. The initiation and success of the Robotics program at NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem is a tremendous step towards reducing the disparity in access to robotics assisted surgery and improving patient safety.” 

Patient Joshua Martinez, before and after his bariatric surgery

“I had the opportunity to undergo bariatric robotic surgery, and it was truly incredible,” said Patient Joshua Martinez. “The surgery played a significant role in improving my health.  The level of precision and the reduced risk of complications are remarkable. I had less pain and scarring due to the smaller incisions used to perform my procedure. The recovery time was fast. I was back on my feet in no time and looking amazing! To date I have lost 180 pounds. If you are considering robotic surgery, based on my personal experience, I wholeheartedly recommend it.”

Patient Joseph Lopez, before and after his bariatric surgery

“My bariatric robotic surgery was life-changing,” said Patient Joseph Lopez. “Prior to having the surgery, I was diagnosed with high blood pressure, pre-diabetes and suffered from sleep apnea. I was making bad lifestyle choices related to my health. Since having my surgery, I have seen great improvement in my bill of health. I no longer experience sleep apnea, pre-diabetes and high blood pressure. The recovery was wonderful due to the intentional efforts of members of the interdisciplinary care team. They were all extremely accommodating through the pre-op and post-op process.”

For more information about Robotic Surgery at NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem, please call 212-939-8361/ 212-939-8360.



MEDIA CONTACT: Philip D. Cooke (Philip.cooke@nychhc.org) and Jeanette N McGill (Jeanette.mcgill@nychhc.org), 212-939-1372

About NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem
NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem is a 268-bed hospital that provides a broad array of preventive, primary and acute care services including general medicine and medical subspecialties, general surgery and surgical subspecialties, infectious diseases, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics and neonatology, critical care, imaging, radiology and nuclear medicine, rehabilitation medicine, psychiatry and substance abuse services, dental and oral surgery, physical, speech and occupational therapies. They are an Area-Wide Burn Center and Level II Trauma, with Centers of Excellence for Bariatric Surgery, Breast Imaging and Sexual Assault Forensics, a designated Stroke and AIDS Center, a World Health Organization’s UNICEF Designated Baby Friendly. For more information, visit https://www.nychealthandhospitals.org/harlem.

About NYC Health + Hospitals
NYC Health + Hospitals is the largest municipal health care system in the nation serving more than a million New Yorkers annually in more than 70 patient care locations across the city’s five boroughs. A robust network of outpatient, neighborhood-based primary and specialty care centers anchors care coordination with the system’s trauma centers, nursing homes, post-acute care centers, home care agency, and MetroPlus health plan—all supported by 11 essential hospitals. Its diverse workforce of more than 43,000 employees is uniquely focused on empowering New Yorkers, without exception, to live the healthiest life possible. For more information, visit www.nychealthandhospitals.org and stay connected on FacebookTwitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.