Milestone moment for Virtua Health surgeon Meslin

Colorectal surgeon performs 1,000th robotic procedure — effort that places him in Top 1% nationally for these advanced surgeries

Dr. Keith Meslin had a milestone moment in the operating room.

Meslin, a colorectal surgeon at Virtua Health, recently performed his 1,000th robotic procedure — an effort that places him in the Top 1% nationally for these advanced colorectal surgeries.

Robotic surgery is an advanced form of minimally invasive surgery. Procedures are done through several small incisions, using tiny, highly precise instruments that the physician manipulates via hand controllers on a console.  A special monitor provides 3D, magnified, high-definition views of the surgical site inside the body.

Robotic surgery offers multiple advantages over other forms of surgery, including:

  • Smaller incisions;
  • A shorter stay in the hospital;
  • Less pain and scarring;
  • Less blood loss;
  • Lower risk of infection;
  • Faster recovery.

In addition, Virtua uses Enhanced Recovery After Surgery methods to help patients bounce back faster after colorectal surgery. ERAS protocols used before, during and after surgery can shorten the length of time in the hospital and significantly minimize pain.

Meslin, the section chief for colon and rectal surgery at Marlton-based Virtua, was the first in the South Jersey/Philadelphia region to perform robotic colorectal surgery, starting in 2010. Meslin conducts nonrobotic surgery, too, depending on the patient’s needs.

“I always wanted to do minimally invasive surgery, starting when I was a resident physician,” he said, noting that he became a colorectal surgeon because that specialty enabled him to perform laparoscopic surgery — an earlier form of minimally invasive surgery.

Dr. Jennifer Khelil, Virtua’s senior vice president and chief medical officer, saluted his efforts.

“Dr. Meslin has joined a small group of the country’s most elite robotic surgeons who have achieved this milestone,” she said. “His clinical skills and expertise are among the very best in the nation.”

A practicing surgeon for 19 years, he is a faculty member of the Penn Medicine | Virtua Health Cancer Program and a clinical assistant professor at Rowan-Virtua School of Osteopathic Medicine.

As a fellow of both the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons and the American College of Surgeons, Meslin has achieved advanced requirements for these designations and is board-certified in his field.

“I’m privileged to help so many of my South Jersey neighbors with a range of colorectal conditions,” he said. “At Virtua, I feel fortunate to be part of a skilled and caring team that truly puts our patients first.”