SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. -- For Dr. Har Chi Lau of Hudson Valley Surgical Group in Sleepy Hollow, medicine has always been about what is best for the patient.
While completing his undergraduate degree as an engineer, Dr. Lau came to love the rigidity and absoluteness of certain principles. The laws of physics remained constant and unchanging, something he found reassuring. "When I went to medical school and was going through my rotations, I noticed some of the surgeons I worked with were on the same page," said Lau. "They had that same rigidity in making sure things were done the right way."
Today, Lau combines many of the principles he learned back in medical school with state of the art technology. As part of HVSG, Lau helped create the Minimally Invasive Center that specializes in surgery that requires a small incision to treat thyroids, gallbladders, hernias, appendices and other internal maladies. "Nearly 20 years into minimally invasive surgery, we find that most of the surgery we are doing is minimally invasive," said Lau. "Because the incisions are smaller, the pain is markedly less, recovery is improved and people are getting back to their lifestyle much quicker."
However, increased technology doesn't mean doctors are now superhuman, cautions Lau. "The robot is now another tool for the surgeon to consider" he said. "The best surgeons know which tool to use to accomplish the best outcome for each patient; different situations require different surgical tools. At the Minimally Invasive Center, we have the expertise that enables us to customize the solution for individual patients based on their need."
In the medical field today, Lau sees much has evolved since he first began practicing, but he still follows the same unchanging principles that first drew him to the world of medicine. "I do things very systematically," said Lau. "As I have gone through my training, the fundamentals haven’t changed. Rather, you begin to utilize other instruments to accomplish simple tasks. That's the benefit of small incision and robotic surgery." As for what the future of robotic medicine holds, Lau is even more optimistic. "The robot is in its infancy right now, and is going to bring even more innovation," he said.
With any medical procedure, Lau stresses the importance of finding the right approach to treatment. "Each person’s body is unique," he reminds. "The key to surgery is doing it well, having the skills to use a variety of tools well and ultimately picking the correct tool."
To learn more about Dr. Lau and Hudson Valley Surgical Group's robotic surgery program, visit their website.