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Frederick Doucette, MD celebrates milestone 600th robotic-assisted surgery

Frederick Doucette, MD celebrates milestone 600th robotic-assisted surgery

Mount Nittany Health is pleased to recognize Frederick Doucette, MD, Obstetrics-gynecology (OB/GYN), for completing his 600th robotic-assisted surgery, the most of any surgeon at Mount Nittany Medical Center. Doucette’s first robotic-assisted surgery case was on December 30, 2011, using the da Vinci Surgical System.

“Reaching this milestone is an incredible accomplishment, not just for me but the entire team of nurses, especially Shelly Lachat, RN, who has been instrumental in guiding the program from the very beginning,” said Doucette. “I started learning about robotic-assisted surgery more than 12 years ago, and spent time training and conducting site visits at the Cleveland Clinic, San Francisco, and Chicago. I still remember the first hysterectomy I completed with the assistance of the robot. The patient came in for surgery on December 30th, and was able to attend a New Year’s Eve party the next night.”

Robot-assisted surgery can help reduce the recovery and healing times of patients. Doucette utilizes the da Vinci Surgical System, which arrived at Mount Nittany Medical Center in December 2011. A second da Vinci Surgical System was recently acquired in 2023 as Mount Nittany Health continues to expand its robotic options.

“We want the community to understand that surgeons like myself are not simply pressing a button on the robot; it’s a refined tool we use during surgery much like using power steering in an automobile. We are ‘driving’ the tool. The technology assists us and provides additional benefits like less blood loss during surgery and fewer post-surgery infections and complications,” said Doucette. “Having this technology right here in Centre County is a great benefit to our community. It means patients can stay close to home and often go home the same day as their procedure, with quicker recovery times.”

“Congratulations to Dr. Doucette for this remarkable accomplishment,” said Kathleen Rhine, President and CEO, Mount Nittany Health. “As a champion of this innovative technology, he is helping move Mount Nittany Health forward and providing access to critical health care for those in the Centre region.”

Doucette, an OB-GYN, typically performs hysterectomies, fibroid removals, and endometriosis treatments with the da Vinci Surgical System, but the da Vinci Surgical System is also used by Mount Nittany Health Urology and General Surgery providers.

“It is great that Mount Nittany Health was an early adopter of the da Vinci Surgical System,” said Doucette. “Robotic-assisted surgery is essentially the standard for students coming out of residency. It’s a great recruitment tool for attracting OB-GYN students to Centre County. It is a point of excellence for our Medical Center.”