Dr. Stephen Szabo

Dr. Stephen Szabo, an OB/GYN with Pinehurst Surgical Clinic (PSC), reached a milestone on Thursday, Sept. 19 with his 805th robotic surgery — a hysterectomy with sacrocolpopexy and bladder suspension.

Dr. Szabo first performed a robotically-assisted surgery in 2006 after coming to Pinehurst Surgical in 1998. He and Pinehurst Surgical Urologists Dr. Robert Chamberlain and Dr. Greg Griewe, along with Dr. Walter Fasolak, from FirstHealth's Southern Pines Women's Center, formed the core group of physicians who spearheaded the introduction of robotic surgery in Moore County.

With 805 surgeries complete, Dr. Szabo is now in the company of an elite and distinguished group of surgeons practicing the art of robotic-assisted healthcare. The minimally invasive approach means that advanced gynecologic surgeries, which would have resulted in a three-to-five-day hospital stay, now only require a stay of three to five hours — and carry a reduced risk of complications or infection. Patients are able to recover at home with pain that can be managed by over-the-counter medication. 

In total, Dr. Szabo has performed 606 benign hysterectomies, 102 sacrocolpopexies, 32 single site hysterectomies, 22 myomectomies, and 42 other GYN procedures; including endometriosis resection, ovarian cystectomies, salpingo-oophorectomies, and retroperitoneal dissections for early Gynecologic Malignancies, all on the DaVinci Robot.

While the DaVinci is able to assist in these procedures, its microsurgical instruments must be controlled by a skilled surgeon. Dr. Szabo directs these instruments through half-inch incisions on the abdomen via hand and foot controls at a console with a 3-D screen. Surgical assistants sit at the patient's side until the surgery is complete. 

The DaVinci robot was developed in 1995, and today is credited with more than six million surgeries worldwide. Dr. Szabo's DaVinci training started with a detailed didactic course followed by simulation labs and robotic labs. Proctoring by an experienced robotic surgeon from Duke University followed. In subsequent years, Dr. Szabo has participated in multiple advanced training, specialty procedure training and master's level course reserved for a select few Da Vinci physicians.

Dr. Szabo has also served as a proctor and trainer for a half dozen DaVinci Gynecologic Surgeons who have learned or advanced their robotic surgery skills at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital. In addition to Dr. Szabo’s excellence in robotics, he also has a practice emphasis in general gynecology and obstetrics, postmenopausal wellness, high-risk obstetrics, infertility and endometriosis. He obtained his medical degree from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, New Jersey Medical School, and did both his internship and residency at the Navy Medical Center in Portsmouth, VA. He is one of the senior physicians within the PSC group, and is one of only five GYN surgeons in the area to achieve robotics certification.

About Pinehurst Surgical:

Pinehurst Surgical Women's Care Department currently has 4 robotic trained surgeons performing over 90 percent of their patients procedures via a minimally invasive approach. This level of advanced surgical care approaches the care provided at major university centers. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology reports that as of 2010, only 30 percent of hysterectomies were performed via a minimally invasive approach.

Since 1946, Pinehurst Surgical has been providing multi-specialty surgical services to Moore County. Today, Pinehurst Surgical has expanded their services to the surrounding counties of Hoke, Lee, Montgomery, Richmond, and Scotland. They have grown to an active board-certified physician staff of 42, 15 mid-level providers, and a professional staff of over 250, offering specialty services in medical fields across the board.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Comments that violate any of the rules above are subject to removal by staff.

Thank you for Reading!

Please purchase a subscription to continue reading. Subscribe today and support local community journalism.

Digital Only Subscriptions

Thank you for visiting ThePilot.com and supporting award-winning community journalism. Not everyone wants to have a newspaper delivered to their home, but they want to keep up with the latest news in Moore County. Click here to gain digital-only access and support local journalism.

Starting at
$1.07 for 1 day

Connect Print Subscription to Digital Access

Thank you for visiting ThePilot.com. Your Pilot subscription entitles you to unlimited digital access. Simply log in. From the home page, click on Subscription Services. Then click on "Pilot All Access Print Subscribers." It should show your phone number . If so, click "Sign Up." After a few seconds, it will take you back to the home page. Log out, then log back in. You're set! For any problems, call our customer service number at 910-693-2487 or 693-2488.

Free access for current print subscribers