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Published on July 16, 2014

Firefly system

Firefly Lights the Way for Robotic Surgery

In December 2013, Dr. J. Alexander Palesty performed the region’s first robotic-assisted colon surgery using the Firefly™ fluorescence imaging system at Saint Mary’s Hospital. Firefly technology works seamlessly with the da Vinci® Surgical System to provide real-time, image-guided identification of key anatomical landmarks using near-infrared technology.

“With the new system, we inject a dye that lights up certain areas, which we can see using a fluoroscopic camera,” Dr. Palesty explained. “That leads to safer procedures and better outcomes for patients.”

Additional procedures, including robotic-assisted gallbladder removals with Firefly technology, are also being performed at Saint Mary’s.

Saint Mary’s is the region’s leader in robotic-assisted surgery and one of the largest programs in New England, with 26 experienced surgeons on staff. To date, Saint Mary’s has performed more single-incision, robotic-assisted gallbladder surgeries than any other Connecticut hospital, so more patients are seeing virtually scarless results.

“We can do gallbladder surgery through an incision that’s completely hidden within an average adult’s bellybutton,” explained Dr. Philip R. Corvo, MA, FACS, Chairman of the Department of Surgery at Saint Mary’s. “When everything heals, the natural folds in the bellybutton hide the scar, making the end result virtually scarless. There are only a handful of places in New England that can do that. Saint Mary’s is definitely leading the way.”

For more information about robotic-assisted surgery at Saint Mary’s, visit

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