Cannon hits career milestone, performs most robotic colorectal resections of any female surgeon in U.S.

Cannon has performed more robotic colorectal resections than any other female surgeon in the country, and the second most amongst all academic surgeons.
Written by: Emma Shepard
Media contact: Adam Pope

cannon.2Jamie Cannon, M.D.In October 2020, University of Alabama at Birmingham Division of Gastrointestinal Surgery Associate Professor Jamie Cannon, M.D., performed her 1,000th robotic colorectal surgery. She has performed more robotic colorectal resections than any other female surgeon in the country, and the second most amongst all academic surgeons.

Robotic-surgery statistics are tracked by Intuitive Surgical, the maker of the da Vinci robotic surgical system. UAB is a worldwide leader in robotic surgery. The advantages conferred by robotic technology allow robotic surgeons to offer a minimally invasive approach to increasingly complex patients. 

Cannon has found that robotic surgery improves accuracy and visualization for rectal cancer surgeries. Many patients that are not considered candidates for traditional laparoscopic surgery, such as patients who have significant inflammation or who have undergone multiple previous operations, can successfully undergo a robotic operation. With a conversion rate from robotic to open surgery of only one percent, Cannon is able to offer almost all patients a minimally invasive operation.

“When I first began performing robotic surgery, there were very few surgeons using this technology for colorectal resections. We had to figure out how to best adapt the technology and apply it to colorectal surgery,” said Cannon, “Now, as technology has continued to improve and we have gained extensive experience, robotic colorectal surgery, as well as other robotic gastrointestinal procedures, have become common place. We are also continuing to innovate and find new ways to make procedures even less invasive.” 

Cannon began performing robotic colorectal surgery in 2011, working as an early adopter in developing and teaching the procedures. Her early adoption gave her a competitive advantage, securing her place as a nation-wide leader. 

Since then, Cannon has traveled the nation sharing her knowledge of robotic colorectal surgery with other surgeons at educational conferences and inside operating rooms. As Program Director of the Colorectal Surgery Fellowship, she champions the procedure– and robotic surgery –with UAB trainees.

Cannon has become an expert consultant and is well-known across academic surgery for her robotic experience. For her, this milestone signifies a commitment to innovation.

Professor and Director of the Division of Gastrointestinal Surgery Gregory Kennedy, M.D., Ph.D., is proud of Cannon and her milestone achievement.

“Dr. Cannon is a wonderful example of innovating and pioneering new ideas for the benefit of our patients,” said Kennedy. “There is never room for the phrase ‘we have always done it that way’ in the Department of Surgery, and Dr. Cannon edifies our mission of staying on the cutting-edge of patient care, education and research.”