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Special Report: Aurora Medical Center in Grafton leading the way for robotic surgeries

Ozaukee County, WIS. (CBS 58) -- If someone were to ask you which hospital is leading the way when it comes to robotic surgeries in the world, you might guess it would be based in a major city. But the answer is right in our own backyard… in Ozaukee County.

It's all happening at the Aurora Medical Center in Grafton., a surgical system that allows doctors to operate through small incisions for things like head, neck, and cardiac surgery.

Michelle Hoffman needed a life-saving procedure, a lobectomy surgery which removed a lobe of her lung because of a cancer diagnosis.

"We had found out I had a tumor on my lung. I will tell you I was scared to death but this team made me feel so comfortable so relaxed," Hoffman said.

For the past eight years, Doctor Bill Tisol and his team at Aurora Medical Center in Grafton have done approximately 700 surgeries just like this one, using the davinci robot, that has instruments that bend and rotate farther than the human hand.

For these operations, the doctor actually sits away from the patient, controlling the robot while looking at a monitor.

More than 200 surgeries were performed by Dr. Tisol in Aurora's centers between April and June, the most in the world for minimally invasive robotic procedures.

"It's truly a team effort. This doesn't just happen because of my efforts, it's an entire group of people that work together and they work very well together," said Doctor Bill Tisol.

Within a few days of her surgery, Michelle was back to work with her husband on their crop consulting business.

Doctors and their teams come from all over the world to learn from the doctor's microscopic procedures and see the group at work.

Dr. Tisol says robotic surgeries tend to be a popular option because their quick recovery time, fewer pain medications after surgery, and smaller scars.

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