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Robotic Technology Enhances General Surgery

Did you know that St. Clair Health’s general surgery experts are creating better outcomes for patients by providing advanced surgical techniques that help get you back on your feet as quickly as possible?

General surgeons have a broad knowledge of many different diseases and conditions. From determining whether surgery is needed to pinpointing the surgical option that is best for each patient, general surgeons work diligently to treat disease and repair or reconstruct tissue deficits, all with the goal of promoting health and healing. General surgeons at St. Clair utilize their expertise with procedures including surgical removal of the gallbladder and appendix, and surgical repair of hernias.

Clarence D. Lin, M.D., a rising general surgeon with St. Clair Medical Group, has been improving the experience of patients undergoing general surgery operations with minimally invasive robotic technology. Dr. Lin is driven to bring his passion for helping people together with St. Clair’s advancements in general surgery.

“The reason I wanted to become a doctor was to provide compassionate care—from the outset of your concerns through any necessary medical intervention, every step of the way. I’m proud of my expert training, and have always wanted to bring that level of knowledge and skills to the community in order to help others,” he says. “Technology is an important tool to achieve better patient care.”

At St. Clair, delivering a world-class, patient-first experience includes offering the latest generation of the da Vinci® Surgical System for minimally invasive, robotic-assisted surgery. “The fastest-growing specialty in robotic surgery is general surgery, which has brought patients smaller incisions, faster recovery times, less soreness, and less pain,” Dr. Lin says.

The benefits of delivering results that patients can feel are exponential.

“With robot-assisted surgery for most gallbladders and hernias I now rarely have to prescribe narcotics for pain management and patients are able to get back to their healthy lives and activity levels much more quickly,” he adds.  

Expert care from people who care. Dr. Lin’s carries his patient-first mentality across your surgical journey, from the initial collaborative consultation through his precision with the robot in your operation.

“The robot isn’t magic—I’m in complete control as the da Vinci translates my hand movements at the console in real time during your procedure. You’re putting your faith in me, and that’s an honor. I take that trust seriously and am mindful that you are not just ‘a gallbladder case,’ but someone’s grandmother, mom, or sister. Even during the technical steps of a procedure I am thoughtful of the person in my hands.”

With an equally keen focus on easing the recovery process, Dr. Lin’s stated goal for each patient is that they only need over-the-counter pain medications following surgery. Robotic-assisted options like the da Vinci help Dr. Lin achieve a minimal or near-zero narcotic experience for his patients.

“With the robot, the area of clearance for movement of instruments in the abdomen is dramatically smaller compared to laparoscopic. This means less air, under less pressure, is needed to fill the abdomen to create that safe working space for the operation. This also reduces physiologic stress on the body during the operation and the end result is less abdominal pain and faster resolution of the common bloating and (gas) pain after traditional laparoscopic surgery,” he says.

This low insufflation pressure approach paired with an abdominal “nerve” block administered by an anesthesiologist prior to surgery is how Dr. Lin delivers an advanced recovery experience—one where the vast majority of his patients report that they did not need narcotics for pain control and they were able to resume their favorite activities in a matter of days.

Delicate and complex operations conducted through a few tiny incisions. Increased vision, precision, and control. A relentless focus on integrating surgical innovations to improve patient care. 

“When we talk about differentiating the patient experience at St. Clair, that means taking our knowledge and pairing it with today’s technological advancements in order to allow general surgery to deliver best-in-class outcomes for everyone,” he says. “That’s truly advanced general surgery, close to home.”

Dr. Lin is accepting new patients in the St. Clair Professional Office Building, Suite 204.

For more information about St. Clair Medical Group General Surgery, please click here.

Robotic-Assisted General Surgery operations offered at St. Clair Health

  • Cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal)
  • Appendectomy
  • Gastric (stomach) Resection
  • Low-profile feeding tube placement
  • Abdominal wall hernia repair
    • ventral hernia
    • umbilical hernia
    • incisional
    • Spigelian
  • Groin hernia repair
    • inguinal hernia
    • femoral hernia
    • obturator hernia

Clarence D. Lin, M.D.

Dr. Lin earned his Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree from the New York University Grossman School of Medicine. He then completed his general surgery training (residency) at Yale-New Haven Hospital and pursued further expertise and training by completing a surgical fellowship at Brown University’s Warren Alpert Medical School, where he was also a clinical instructor of surgery. Dr. Lin specializes in general surgery and practices with St. Clair Medical Group. To contact Dr. Lin, please call 412.942.5749.