Interview: Dr. Quoc Huynh, Division Head of General Surgery
Tell us a little about yourself!
Hello, I’m Dr. Quoc Huynh and I am a General Surgeon. I have been at Humber since 2007 (or 2004 including my residency).
What is a General Surgeon?
In the “old days” doctors were either surgeons or internists. Now as medicine becomes more and more specialized, general surgery typically refers to surgery of the abdominal area. Some general surgeons also operate on head and neck, others will operate on breasts, some perform endocrine surgeries, etc.
My practice mostly includes oncology (operations to treat stomach and colon cancers) and bariatric surgery (gastric bypass and other weight-loss surgeries).
What sets Humber River Hospital’s Surgery Program apart from other hospitals?
Humber River Hospital has long embraced technology and innovation that improves surgical outcomes for our patients.
Years ago, Dr. John Hagan drove laparoscopy – and now as a division we have some of the most skilled surgeons in the country in minimally invasive surgery! Smaller incisions mean less pain and trauma for our patients, and shorter stays in-hospital.
Now with Robotic Surgery, we’re moving the needle even further. Fewer complications, less bleeding, smaller incisions… Being on the leading-edge has benefited our patients greatly.
How will the upgrade to the Xi impact the surgeons who were previously using the Si?
Some of my colleagues in Urology, Gynaecology, and even a few of our General Surgeons have been using the da Vinci Si for years with great results for our patients. The Xi offers them even better visualization, better precision, and will reduce operating times. Positioning (or “docking”) the da Vinci used to take up to 45 minutes. The Xi only takes 10 minutes to dock.
What do you love about the da Vinci Xi?
Thanks to our donors, the da Vinci Xi is allowing surgeons like me to perform surgeries we were unable to perform with the Si.
The da Vinci Xi is perfect for the surgeries needed to treat colorectal cancers, which are performed in a narrow, awkward space surrounded by bone (the pelvis)! Its instruments can move and twist in small spaces, and the optics are fantastic. It’s like you’re right there, so close you can see the red blood cells!
I am now able to perform surgeries with the Xi that until recently would have been performed with greater difficulties and required a longer amount of time laparoscopically. In some instances, those surgeries may have had to be done “open” due to the confined working space of the pelvis. I can perform a challenging rectal cancer case in less time with less risk now with the da Vinci Xi.
Our patients are doing very well. We’re quite impressed with the results!
What do you love about your job?
I have always loved helping people. It brings me lots of joy! So when I perform a gall bladder surgery and take away someone’s pain, or when I perform a bariatric surgery for a patient who has felt discriminated against for their weight their entire life, that’s by far what I enjoy most.
I also really appreciate my colleagues. We are very collegial and trust each other greatly.
What inspires you?
The human spirit and how it endures. I see it in my patients facing cancer, in my dad who escaped a concentration camp, in the people of Ukraine and Turkey… When people have every reason to be upset with the world but they choose to go on and endure and treat people well, that inspires me.
Expanding Robotic Surgery: da Vinci Xi
Humber River Hospital is at the forefront of surgical innovation in Canada and with donor support, our Robotic Surgery Program can continue to make a difference. To learn more, please contact Caterina Magisano at firstname.lastname@example.org
The da Vinci Surgical Robot is the centerpiece of the Murphy and Helen Hull Robotics Centre at Humber River Hospital. The Centre was established thanks to a transformational donation from the late Murphy and Helen Hull.