Center for Minimally Invasive Surgery at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey Offers Array of Services

August 26, 2014

Mira Hellmann, MDNew Brunswick, N.J. – Minimally invasive surgical procedures have become more common over the past decade, and when offered through a comprehensive program that has a specialized focus in this type of surgery “it is of great benefit to the patient,” says Mira Hellmann, MD, director of the new Center for Minimally Invasive Surgery at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey. 

The Center for Minimally Invasive Surgery features more than 20 surgeons, who are specially trained in robotic and laparoscopic methods through a rigorous program in conjunction with Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, the flagship hospital of the Cancer Institute of New Jersey. 

The Center offers patients access to a full range of minimally invasive procedures that play a key role in the treatment of multiple cancers, including gynecologic, prostate and other urologic cancers, as well as colorectal, lung, and liver cancers. It offers access to the most up to date, state-of-the-art methods including robotic surgery, single site minimally invasive surgery (both robotic and standard laparoscopic), and fluorescent dye technology that helps surgeons distinguish cancerous tissue from healthy tissue (used in a myriad of robotic procedures).

During a minimally invasive procedure, surgeons make several small incisions in the skin — just a few millimeters, in some cases.  The surgery is performed through these tiny openings with the aid of a viewing scope known as an endoscopic camera.  Images from the endoscope are projected onto monitors in the operating room so surgeons can get a clear and magnified view of the surgical area. Minimally invasive surgery typically results in shorter hospital stays, faster recovery times, and reduced scarring and pain.

“It’s about improved quality of life,” notes Dr. Hellmann, who is also an assistant professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.  “Minimally invasive procedures are helping patients get back to work quicker and resume regular physical activity at a faster rate than conventional surgical procedures might.” And when offered through a program where the patient can follow up with the surgical oncologist, and see a medical oncologist, social worker and other key players on the healthcare team all under one roof, “it minimizes stress for the patient and enables everyone to be on the same page when it comes to follow up care,” she adds.

Dr. Hellmann was the first in the region to have performed what is known as a single incision robotic hysterectomy and Isaac Kim, MD, PhD, chief of urologic oncology at the Cancer Institute and associate professor of surgery at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, has performed more than 1,200 robotic prostatectomies and has developed clinical trials that help improve patient outcomes. To learn more about the team of surgeons and surgical options offered at the Center for Minimally Invasive Surgery, visit:

About Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey ( is the state’s first and only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. As part of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, the Cancer Institute of New Jersey is dedicated to improving the detection, treatment and care of patients with cancer, and to serving as an education resource for cancer prevention. Physician-scientists at the Cancer Institute engage in translational research, transforming their laboratory discoveries into clinical practice, quite literally bringing research to life.  To make a tax-deductible gift to support the Cancer Institute of New Jersey, call 732-235-8614 or visit Follow us on Facebook at

The Cancer Institute of New Jersey Network is comprised of hospitals throughout the state and provides the highest quality cancer care and rapid dissemination of important discoveries into the community. Flagship Hospital: Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. System Partner: Meridian Health (Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Ocean Medical Center, Riverview Medical Center, Southern Ocean Medical Center, and Bayshore Community Hospital). Major Clinical Research Affiliate Hospitals: Carol G. Simon Cancer Center at Morristown Medical Center, Carol G. Simon Cancer Center at Overlook Medical Center, and Cooper University Hospital. Affiliate Hospitals: JFK Medical Center, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton (CINJ Hamilton), Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset and University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro. 

Michele Fisher


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