Surgeon removes tumor using robotic surgical system, helps patient recover quickly

Posted at 11:32 AM on Aug 26, 2019


Matheson 4 with background.jpgPhoto: Glenn Matheson recently underwent surgery at Iredell Memorial Hospital.

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When Glenn Matheson’s physician told him he needed a tumor removed from his stomach and asked if there was a surgeon he’d recommend, Glenn didn’t hesitate.

“James Foxworthy is number one,” Glenn said. “You cannot beat Dr. Foxworthy.”

Glenn’s family member and a friend had successful surgeries performed by Foxworthy, and Glenn was impressed by the community’s trust in the surgeon.

“He is well-known in this district for doing outstanding surgeries,” he said. “He is a man dedicated to his work.”

To perform Glenn’s gastric resection at Iredell Memorial Hospital Foxworthy used the da Vinci XI Surgical System, a state-of-the-art robot used to perform complex procedures by enabling the surgeon to make precise movements through small incisions. Iredell Memorial was the first hospital in Iredell County to invest in the da Vinci XI several years ago. It is the most advanced surgical robot of its kind currently available.

With the surgeon in complete control of the da Vinci System at all times, the system’s magnified vision system sends three-dimensional, high-definition images to a video monitor in the operating room to guide doctors during surgery. Its wristed instruments bend and rotate beyond the abilities of the human hand, and its increased mobility eliminates the need to move a patient during the surgery.

Glenn appreciated Foxworthy’s straightforwardness and the collaboration of his team.

“I couldn’t ask for a better surgeon or team,” he said. “They work together, the facility was clean, and everything went fine.”

Compared with traditional surgery, a robotic gastric resection is less invasive and can result in a shorter hospital stay and recovery time. It can lessen pain, surgical blood loss, and scarring.

“I highly recommend robotic surgery,” Glenn said. “I’d much rather have robotic surgery than be split open. I think the robotic surgery is going to be a thing of this century.”

Foxworthy advised Glenn not to lift anything while preparing for the surgery. Following the surgeon’s counsel, Glenn even needed his wife to place their dog on his lap.

“If you listen to what the surgeon tells you, you’re going to be so much better. I did exactly what he told me to do, and I’m well-satisfied with the way everything went,” he said.

Glenn was concerned about the surgery before having it conducted and was worried before learning the outcome. But results showed that Glenn did not need additional treatment, including medication. He didn’t go home on any pain medicine. And his surgery brought a definitive result, with a 98 percent chance the tumor will not recur.

“That took a lot of pressure off of my shoulders,” he said. “It lifted a burden, and I feel relieved.”

With continuous support from his wife, Glenn recovered ahead of schedule.

“Sometimes it’s just as hard on the caretaker as it is the patient,” she said. “I was so relieved because I didn’t know what we were going to face.”

“My wife has been right here beside me ever since this has happened,” Glenn said. “We’ve been married 45 years, and we stick to one another.”

IHS robots_Xi_Trio_of_System_Components_High_Res_184859.jpg

The da Vinci XI robotic surgical system used by surgeons at Iredell Memorial Hospital.

About Iredell Health System

Iredell Health System includes Iredell Memorial Hospital, Iredell Home Health, Iredell Wound Care & Hyperbaric Center, Community and Corporate Wellness, Occupational Medicine, and the Iredell Physician Network. Iredell Memorial Hospital is the largest and only non-profit hospital in Iredell County. The comprehensive healthcare facility has 247-beds, more than 1,600 employees, and has 260 physicians representing various specialties. Centers of excellence include Women’s and Children’s, Cardiovascular, Cancer, Surgical Services and Wellness & Prevention. Iredell Memorial has also been named as a Blue Distinction Center+ for Hips and Knees, as well as Maternity Care, by Blue Cross Blue Shield. The mission of Iredell Health System is to inspire wellbeing. For a comprehensive list of services and programs, visit

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