About our Bariatric Surgery Center

da Vinci Robotic Surgery
da Vinci® Surgical System

Register for an Information Session

To register for a free education seminar, please call

Location Information

MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center
White Square Building
9105 Franklin Square Drive
Suites 305 and 307
Baltimore, MD 21237

MedStar Health Bel Air Medical Campus
12 MedStar Blvd.
Suite 170
Bel Air, MD 21015
Phone: 410-877-8088

The Bariatric Surgery Center at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center is designed to provide comprehensive medical care, guidance, and support for individuals who are in need of a more permanent, long-term weight loss solution.  We are recognized as one of the most advanced hospitals in the Region when it comes to the use of technology in our operating rooms. 

To meet the needs of as many patients as possible in the region, our bariatric surgeons are trained in the latest technologies. The majority of weight loss surgeries use a robotic technique, which is considered minimally invasive. With robotic surgery, there is less scarring, less blood loss, shorter recovery times, and even more benefits for the patient.

The da Vinci® Surgical System is used for laparoscopic gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy procedures. During a robotic procedure, the surgeon inserts tiny robotic instruments and a camera into small incisions in the abdomen. The surgeon then controls the surgery from a nearby console.

Robotic surgery takes the concept and benefits of minimally invasive surgical approaches to the next level. The technology allows your bariatric surgeon to see more, move better and target the area of your body that needs attention, with nearly perfect precision. MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center’s investment in robotic surgical tools positions us “ahead of the curve” when it comes to the integration of technology in our day-to-day work. Our surgeons are some of the most skilled in the region and offer second-to-none clinical capabilities. 

Patients who have undergone bariatric surgery robotically may tell you the recovery process is simplified, and much easier than what they expected. 

Patient Perspective: Diabetes-Free After Robotic Surgery

Ellen Wells Patient Bariatric Surgery Robotic
Ellen Wells explored robotic bariatric surgery to lose weight and put an end to her diabetes.

A New Outlook on Life Following Bariatric Surgery

When Ellen Wells decided to explore bariatric surgery to lose weight, her primary goal wasn’t to look good or fit into a smaller pair of jeans. Rather, she wanted to put an end to her diabetes, which had been controlling her life since her diagnosis more than 20 years earlier.

“I was taking six shots of insulin every day,” says Ellen. “I weighed 245 pounds and could hardly stand or walk, so I had to stop working. And my family and social life was hampered because I didn’t feel good about myself. Being that heavy literally disabled my body, mind, and spirit.”

At the recommendation of her primary care physician, Ellen registered for a free bariatric education seminar at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center. It was here that she first met Christopher You, MD.  He spoke at length about the various surgical options available, including gastric bypass surgery, which has proven to be effective in helping to improve diabetes. She also learned that Dr. You performs all of his surgeries using robotic technology.

Today, a little over two years since Ellen had gastric bypass surgery, every single aspect of her life is different and better. She’s lost nearly 100 pounds. She’s running, bicycling, and taking part in fun activities with her daughter. And she no longer travels with a bag of insulin shots in tow. Her diabetes is gone!

Ironically, the place where Ellen spends a good portion of her time these days is in the kitchen. With a life-long passion and talent for baking, inherited from her mother, she is building a new career as a pastry chef. She completed her associate’s degree in baking and pastry arts at Stratford University, and now, she has the physical energy and endurance it takes to do the work she loves.

Read more bariatric patient stories.

Urogynecologic Robotic Surgery

Peter O'Hare Robotic Surgery Urogynecology
Dr. Peter O'Hare III with the da Vinci® Robotic Surgical System

Less blood loss, less pain after the procedure, a shorter hospital stay and the ability to recover and return to normal, daily activities, quicker than you’d ever think possible are the many benefits of robotic surgery.

If and when you need to undergo surgery to correct a pelvic floor disorder, MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center has invested in one of the most innovative, state-of-the-art surgical technologies available on the market today: the da Vinci® Robotic Surgical System, and a top-of-the-line surgeon trained to use it.

Robotic technology allows our urogynecology team to operate with extreme precision. Areas of a woman’s body that may difficult or even impossible to reach with the human hand are now accessible with use of the robotic system; its “arms” can rotate up to 280 degrees.

Our goal is to help women who suffer from these conditions resolve their medical issues so they can resume normal, daily life activities, without pain, discomfort, or the potential for embarrassment.

Patient Perspective - Robotic Surgery for Pelvic Prolapse

Joanne Tressler Pelvic Floor

Meet Joanne Tressler; she finally experienced relief after seeing Dr. Peter O’Hare, who correctly diagnosed and treated her pelvic prolapse. “He told me that I had pelvic prolapse—that my pelvic organs weren’t being supported. He also found that my uterus was blocking my bladder,” she says. “If it was moved out of the way, I leaked urine.” Click here to learn more about Joanne's treatment for pelvic prolapse


Request a Consultation

Please call 443-777-7608 or use the button below:


Location Information

National Center for Advanced Pelvic Surgery
9103 Franklin Square Drive
Suite 305
Baltimore, MD 21237 
Fax: 855-550-5301

Get directions

Women's Care at Bel Air
MedStar Health Bel Air Medical Campus
12 MedStar Blvd. 
Suite 235
Bel Air, MD 21015
Fax: 410-569-7609

Get directions

View all National Center for Advanced Pelvic Surgery locations

Patient Story

Eliminating Pelvic Pain and Incontinence: A Less Invasive Way to Treat Pelvic Prolapse

Office Hours

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday: 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Wednesday: 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Friday: 8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Our Center is part of the National Center for Advanced Pelvic Surgery (NCAPS) at MedStar Washington Hospital Center

Robotic Surgery for Colorectal Patients

Dr. Jeffrey Ferris MD and Dr. David Lisle MD Colorectal Robotic Surgeons

P. Jeffrey Ferris, MD, Chief of Colon and Rectal Surgery, and David Lisle, MD, Colon and Rectal Surgeon

Robotic technology allows our colorectal surgeons to operate with extreme precision. Areas of the intestines or colon that may difficult or even impossible to reach with the human hand are now accessible with use of the robotic system; its “arms” can rotate up to 280 degrees. All of this translates to a better experience, as well as outcomes, for you, as the patient.

Benefits of Colorectal Robotic Surgery for Patients

Patients who have undergone colorectal robotic surgery may tell you the recovery process is greatly simplified, and much easier than what they expected. Blood loss during the procedure is reduced. Post-operation pain is minimized. Most find that their hospital stay, recovery period, and time away from work or normal, day-to-day activities, is much shorter.

MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center’s investment in robotic surgical tools positions us “ahead of the curve” when it comes to the integration of technology in our day-to-day work. And along with that, some of the region’s most skilled surgeons are part of our colorectal team; doctors who offer second-to-none clinical capabilities, and who are also truly committed to serving as leaders in today’s evolving world of medicine.

Frequently Asked Questions – Colorectal Robotic Surgery

Q: Who does the surgery - the colorectal surgeon or the robot?

A: This is one of the most frequently asked questions we hear! Your colorectal surgeon fully controls the entire procedure - NOT the robotic technology. The technology is a tool and does not replace the role of your surgeon during your procedure.

Q:  How is robotic surgery different from more traditional minimally invasive surgical approaches available for colorectal patients?

A: During a standard laparoscopic procedure, your colorectal surgeon stands next to the operating room bed and utilizes hand-held instruments to perform your procedure. This requires a series of small incisions. Using robotic technology, instead, your surgeon is seated at a console, using their own hands to maneuver the arms and instruments of the da Vinci system. Again, this requires just a few small incisions. From that console, your surgeon has 3D vision and the ability to rotate his or hands in angles and to degrees that would otherwise be impossible to achieve.

Q: What are the key patient benefits associated with undergoing colorectal robotic surgery?

A: Robotic surgery is safer and typically results in a number of key benefits for colorectal patients, including:

  • less blood loss
  • less pain after surgery
  • shorter hospital stay
  • quicker recovery
  • quicker return to work and normal life activities

Q:  How long has the da Vinci system been around?

A:  This technology was approved for use in the U.S. by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2000.

Q:  How many surgeries have been performed robotically at MedStar Franklin Square?

A: MedStar Franklin Square houses two da Vinci robotic surgical systems in our operating room suites. In total, since investing in the technology in 2009, our surgeons have performed more than 4,000 robotic procedures.

Location Information

To schedule an appointment, please call 410-248-8316.

MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center
Center for Digestive Disease
9000 Franklin Square Drive
Baltimore, MD 21237

Colorectal Surgeons

Learn More

Palliative Care

Palliative Care Services 

Enhancing Quality of Life at Every Stage of Illness

Palliative care services at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center provide hospitalized patients with serious illnesses ongoing relief from symptoms and stress during and after treatment.

Our interdisciplinary palliative care team members are experts in this specialized field of medicine—and deliver an important level of additional support to our patients. The team takes a holistic approach to care aimed at healing mind, body and spirit. Members of the team work collaboratively with one another, and hand-in-hand with patients’ other medical specialists and health care providers to help ease physical pain and other symptoms and promote patients’ emotional, psycho-social and spiritual health at any stage of illness.

The palliative plan of care respects each individual’s hopes, beliefs, values and traditions—and puts an emphasis on improving quality of life for patients and their families.

Palliative Care

Palliative Care is specialized medical care for people living with serious illness. It is focused on providing patients with relief from the symptoms and stress of a serious illness-whatever the diagnosis. It looks at the physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual suffering that a patient and their family are experiencing. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and their family.

Palliative Care is provided by a team of doctors, nurses, social workers and other specialists who work with a patient’s medical doctor to provide an extra layer of support. Palliative care is appropriate at any age and the any stage in a serious illness and can be provided together with curative treatment.

Palliative Care vs Hospice Care

Palliative Care is for anyone with serious illness. You can have Palliative Care at any age and at any stage of an illness and can have it along with curative treatment. It is not dependent on prognosis.

Hospice Care is a Medicare Program designed to care for patients when they only have months to live. People who receive hospice care are no longer also receiving curative treatment.


Location Information

For more information about our Palliative Care Department, please call 443-777-7733

MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center
9000 Franklin Square Drive
Baltimore, MD 21237

In The News

Palliative Care Opens New Inpatient Care Center in Maryland


With each new issue of Discover, we will share stories with you about people who live and work right here in our community, provide you helpful tips on staying healthy, and outline options for you to consider when you (or your family) require care. We will also take time to introduce you to our physicians and other members of our clinical team who are here for you. Many of them are recognized as some of Maryland’s best. You will also see that we provide medical care not only on our hospital campus in Rosedale, but also at the many other locations conveniently found throughout Baltimore and Harford Counties.Whether you are new to the community, or a long time resident, I hope you will take a moment to enjoy what you Discover inside.

Discover magazine is intended to educate readers about  subjects pertinent to their health and is not a substitute for consultation with a personal physician. For more information, please call 443-777-7900

To read the latest issue of Discover, visit www.medstarfranklinsquare.org/discover.

 Discover: Fall 2018
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Urologic Cancer

Ryan Cleary Urologic Oncology Robotic da Vinci

Ryan Cleary, MD, Urologist,  with the da Vinci® Robotic Surgical System

Our urologic oncology team offers a comprehensive approach to the diagnosis and treatment of both cancerous (malignant) and non-cancerous (benign) conditions of the prostate, bladder, kidneys, and testicles. The treatment plan developed for each individual patient depends on the type of stage of cancer determined at the time of diagnosis, and may include a recommendation to undergo surgery. 

Our urologic doctors in Baltimore are leading experts in treating patients with all types of urologic cancers. Our surgeons specialize in using advanced technologies and procedures including robotic, laparoscopic, and open surgery, ensuring that maximum functionality is restored to affected organs after treatment. Robotic surgery is performed by our urologic experts to treat both men and women who suffer from urologic cancers, kidney disorders, and who may require urinary tract reconstruction.

Urologic Robotic Surgery

Robotic technology allows our urologic surgeon to operate with extreme precision. Areas of the body that may difficult or even impossible to reach with the human hand are now accessible with use of the robotic system; its “arms” can rotate up to 280 degrees. All of this translates to a better experience, as well as outcomes, for you, as the patient.

 Urologic cancers are defined as cancer involving any of the following organs:

Your treatment will depend on the type of urologic cancer you have and the stage at diagnosis. Our patients have access to a wide range of services including screening exams, second opinions, transrectal ultrasound and biopsy, diagnostic imaging, and targeted, advanced treatments from surgery to radiation therapy.

Doug Wenrich - Patient Perspective on Robotic Surgery

Doug Wenrich Prostate Cancer Robotic Surgery Urologic
Doug Wenrich, affirms the benefits of robotic surgery.

Prostate Cancer Patient Affirms the Benefits of Robotic Surgery

Doug Wenrich was just 54 years old when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. With guidance from urologic oncology expert Ryan Cleary, MD, it became quickly clear that undergoing surgery was his best course of action, rather than a series of radiation treatments over a two-year period. 

With a goal to eliminate the cancer and move on with his life as quickly as possible, Doug and Dr. Cleary spoke at length about robotic surgery, and the many benefits associated with it – from less pain to a shorter hospital stay, and the likeliness that Doug would be able to return to work and his everyday lifestyle, much quicker than would be the case if a more traditional, “open” surgery was performed. Simply put, the newer, state-of-the-art way of removing his prostate, made sense.

True to Dr. Cleary’s word, Doug was up and walking five hours after surgery and was discharged from the hospital the following day. The pain he experienced was much less than expected; in fact, he never took the pain medicine that was prescribed to be used on an as-needed basis.

Today, Doug is back to work as a sales representative, and most importantly, once again enjoying his true life passions--camping and boating. He and his wife Vivian enjoy taking their motorhome to destinations across Maryland, such as Rockhall and Williamsport, as well as Raystown Lake and Mountain Creek in Pennsylvania.

“My scars remind me of what I’ve been through, but they are small, and they are fading,” Doug notes. “But I am not living in fear anymore. Life can be short, so my focus is on enjoying mine.”


Bladder Cancer

The bladder is a hollow organ in the pelvis with flexible, muscular walls. Its main function is to store urine before it leaves the body. Urine is made by the kidneys and is then carried to the bladder through tubes called ureters. Bladder cancer is the fourth most common cancer among men and is linked strongly to smoking and eighth most common female cancer.

Bladder Cancer Symptoms

  • Blood in urine (hematuria) — urine may appear dark yellow, bright red or cola colored
  • Urine may appear normal, but blood may be detected in a microscopic examination
  • Frequent urination
  • Painful urination
  • Back pain
  • Pelvic pain

Bladder Cancer Risks

  • Smoking
  • Older than age 40
  • Being male
  • Exposure to chemicals
  • Chronic bladder inflammation
  • Taking diabetes medication pioglitazone (Actos) for more than a year 
  • Personal or family history of bladder cancer
  • Prior cancer with the anti-cancer drug cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan) 

Bladder Cancer Treatment

  • Bladder preservation with Chemotherapy and Radiation
  • Immunotherapy a form of the tuberculosis vaccine known as BCG is instilled in the bladder to treat or prevent recurrences. Learn more about immunotherapy.
  • Robotic Cystectomy is the partial or full removal of the bladder with continent urinary diversion. Robotic cystectomy is a minimally invasive surgical method offering patients a more effective surgery and less problematic post-surgical recovery.
  • Cystoscopy involves the insertion of a cystoscope (a small optic instrument or thin tube with a lighted tip) into the urethra and bladder, allowing the urologist to examine the urethra and bladder wall for lesions. 
  • Blue Light Cystoscopy with Cysview® improves the traditional white light cystoscopy allowing the urologist to visualize more cancer tumors easier within the bladder. 


Kidney Cancer

Your kidneys are two bean-shaped organs, each about the size of your fist. They're located behind your abdominal organs, with one kidney on each side of your spine. The most common type of kidney cancer is renal cell carcinoma.

Kidney cancer is among the 10 most common cancers in both men and women. Most people with kidney cancer are older when diagnosed with the average age at diagnosis being 64. It’s very uncommon in people younger than age 45.

Kidney Cancer Symptoms

  • Blood in the urine (hematuria)
  • Lower back pain on one side (not caused by injury)
  • Lump on the side or lower back
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss not caused by dieting
  • Persistent fever that is not caused by an infection

Kidney Cancer Risks

  • Being older, your risk of kidney cancer increases as you age
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • Treatment for kidney failure
  • Von Hippel-Lindau disease
  • Hereditary papillary renal cell carcinoma

Kidney Cancer Treatment

  • Open radical surgery
  • Robotic surgery including partial nephrectomy for preservation of the kidney (open, laparoscopic, or robotic surgery)
  • Percutaneous Cryosurgery uses extremely cold temperatures to freeze and destroy tumor cells. 


Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. According to the American Cancer Society, 17 out 100 men (17 percent) age 50 and older will receive a prostate cancer diagnosis during their life. Located in front of the rectum and just below the bladder, the prostate is a male reproductive gland about the size and shape of a walnut. Like all cancers, prostate cancer occurs when normal prostate cells become malignant and start to grow uncontrollably.

Prostate Cancer Symptoms

  • Difficulty urinating
  • An increase in frequency of urination, especially at night
  • Blood in your urine
  • Difficulty having or maintaining an erection
  • Pain in your pelvic area

Prostate Cancer Risks

  • Older Men: As men age, their risk for prostate cancer increases. The chance of developing prostate cancer goes up significantly after age 50. Two-thirds (66 percent) of prostate cancer occur in men 65 and older.
  • Family History: Men with a father or brother who has or had prostate cancer are at an increased risk for the disease. This is especially true if the family member developed prostate cancer before age 65.
  • Race: While the reasons behind it are still unknown, African-American men are at an increased risk for prostate cancer. According to the Centers for Disease Control, African American men have about a 19 percent chance (1 in 5) of receiving a prostate cancer diagnosis.
  • Diet: Men who eat a lot of fat (five or more servings per day of meat, dairy, eggs and butter) in their diet have a greater chance of developing prostate cancer. Men with a high-fat diet also tend to eat fewer fruits and vegetables and more dairy products (These other factors may be responsible for increased risk rather than the amount of fat itself).

Prostate Cancer Treatment

  • Robotic prostatectomy  is a minimally invasive procedure to remove your entire prostate.
  • Retroperitoneal lymph node dissection
  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Make Sexual Health quality of life related to ED


Testicular Cancer

Testicular cancer is the most common in young men ages 15 to 44. It is highly treatable and usually curable. It typically develops in one or both testicles in young men, although it can occur at any age. 

Testicular Cancer Symptoms

Some cases of testicular cancer have no symptoms. If there are symptoms, they may include: 

  • Discomfort or pain in the testicle, or a feeling of heaviness in the scrotum
  • Pain in the back or lower abdomen
  • Enlarged testicle or a change in the way it feels
  • Excess amount of breast tissue (gynecomastia), however this can occur normally in adolescent boys who do not have testicular cancer
  • Lump or swelling in either testicle 

If the cancer has spread (metastasized) beyond the testicles, it can infiltrate your abdomen, pelvis, back, lungs or brain.

Testicular Cancer Risks

Some of the main factors that may increase your risk of testicular cancer include:

  • An undescended testicle: The testes form in the abdominal area during fetal development and usually descend into the scrotum before birth. Men who have a testicle that never descended are at greater risk of testicular cancer in either testicle than are men whose testicles descended normally. The risk remains elevated even if the testicle has been surgically relocated to the scrotum. Still, the majority of men who develop testicular cancer don't have a history of undescended testicles.
  • Abnormal testicle development: Conditions that cause testicles to develop abnormally, such as Klinefelter's syndrome, may increase your risk of testicular cancer.
  • Family history: If family members have had testicular cancer, you may have an increased risk.
  • Age: Testicular cancer affects teens and younger men, particularly those between ages 15 and 35. However, it can occur at any age.
  • Race: Testicular cancer is more common in white men than in black men.

Location Information

For a physician referral, please call  (410) 391-6131.

For more information about our clinical trials, please call 443-777-7364.

MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center
The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Cancer Institute
9103 Franklin Square Drive
Baltimore, MD 21237

Urologic Cancer Specialists

Learn More

Safe Sleep for Baby

MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center is excited to announce that it has been officially recognized as a Cribs for Kids® National Bronze Cribs for Kids® National Bronze Certified Safe SleepCertified Safe Sleep Hospital. The Cribs for Kids® National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification program awards recognition to hospitals that demonstrate a commitment to reducing infant, sleep-related deaths by promoting and educating on best safe sleep practices. 

The Cribs for Kids® National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification program awards recognition to hospitals that demonstrate a commitment to reducing infant Sleep-Related Deaths by promoting best safe sleep practices and by educating on infant sleep safety.  By becoming certified, a hospital is demonstrating that it is committed to being a community leader and is pro-actively eliminating as many sleep-related deaths as possible.

MedStar Franklin Square recognizes the importance of safe sleep for infants and reducing the number of deaths due to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). According to the CDC there were about 1,600 deaths due to SIDS, 1,200 deaths due to unknown causes, and about 900 deaths due to accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed.

We are committed to educating our patients, community, and associates on providing the safest sleeping environment for infants. There are many myths about the causes of SIDS and sudden unexpected infant deaths. Click here to read the myths and learn the facts.

Provide a Safe Sleep Environment

In order to reduce the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant death:

  • Place the baby on its back on a firm sleep surface
  • Firm mattress in a crib, bassinet or Pack ’N Play
  • No presence of crib bumpers, pillows, loose blankets, or loose bedding
  • No toys in the sleep area 

Video about Safe Sleep Courtesy of The Safe to Sleep® campaign 


Know the Facts

Myth: Babies can “catch” SIDS. 

Our Nurse Educators Sharing Safe Sleep Tips with the Community

Fact: A baby cannot catch SIDS. SIDS is not caused by an infection, so it can’t be caught or spread.

Myth: Cribs cause “crib death” or SIDS. 

Fact: Cribs themselves do not cause SIDS. But features of the sleep environment—such as a soft sleep surface—can increase the risk of SIDS

Myth: SIDS can be prevented. 

Fact: There is no known way to prevent SIDS, but there are effective ways to reduce the risk of SIDS.

Myth: Shots, vaccines, immunizations, and medicines cause SIDS. 

Fact: Recent evidence suggests that shots for vaccines may have a protective effect against SIDS. All babies should see their health care providers regularly for well-baby checkups and should get their shots on time as recommended by their health care provider.

Myth: SIDS can occur in babies at any age.

Fact: Babies are at risk of SIDS only until they are 1 year old. Most SIDS deaths occur when babies are between 1 month and 4 months of age. SIDS is not a health concern for babies older than 1 year of age.

Myth: If parents sleep with their babies in the same bed, they will hear any problems and be able to prevent them from happening.  

Fact: Because SIDS occurs with no warning or symptoms, it is unlikely that   any adult will hear a problem and prevent SIDS from occurring. Sleeping with a baby in an adult bed increases the risk of suffocation and other sleep-related causes of infant death. Instead of bed sharing, health care providers recommend room sharing—keeping baby’s sleep area separate from your sleep area in the same room where you sleep. Room sharing is known to reduce the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant death.

Myth: Babies who sleep on their backs will choke if they spit up or vomit during sleep.

Fact: Babies automatically cough up or swallow fluid that they spit up or vomit—it’s a reflex to keep the airway clear. Studies show no increase in the number of deaths from choking among babies who sleep on their backs. In fact, babies who sleep on their backs might clear these fluids better because of the way the body is built.


Helpful facts from NIH Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development


Endoscopic Ultrasound

Dedicated to providing highly specialized, extensive and compassionate endoscopic ultrasound treatments, the Center for Digestive Disease at MedStar Franklin Square staffs nationally recognized gastroenterology physicians who evaluate stages of digestive cancers, pancreatitis or other pancreas disorders and study gastrointestinal abnormalities and tumors.

What is an Endoscopic Ultrasound?

An endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) is a gastroenterology procedure that allows physicians at MedStar Franklin Square to obtain information about the digestive tract in addition to the surrounding tissue and organs. This information can then be used in the diagnosis and treatment of complex digestive cancers.

About the Endoscopic Ultrasound Procedure

During the procedure, a MedStar gastroenterologist inserts an endoscope, a small flexible tube with a light and camera attached, into the upper or lower digestive tract. This endoscopy procedure allows the physician to obtain high-quality ultrasound images of organs and the surrounding tissue. Compared to traditional ultrasound techniques, which obtain images from outside the body, an endoscopic ultrasound provides more accurate and detailed images from inside. This is due to the fact that this endoscopy procedure gets much closer to the organs and tissues being examined.

Before the gastroenterology procedure, the patient undergoing the endoscopic ultrasound will be sedated. Once sedation is complete, a MedStar gastroenterologist will insert the endoscope into the patient’s mouth or rectum. The gastroenterologist will then inspect the upper or lower digestive tract disorder on a television in addition to the ultrasound image. An endoscopic ultrasound procedure usually lasts from 30 to 90 minutes, and the patient is normally able to go home the same day of the endoscopy procedure.

Types of Endoscopic Services

Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)

ERCP is a highly specialized technique that combines endoscopy with contrast dye to examine the pancreas, liver, gallbladder, and the network of ducts that carry digestive fluids.

In addition to its diagnostic importance, ERCP also can be used to treat certain conditions immediately. These treatments, however, require the experience of experts as ERCP is a highly specialized. During an ERCP, if a blockage is found in any of the ducts, your physician may be able to use one of the following tools to remove or relieve the obstruction:

  • Sphincterotomy, in which your physician cuts the muscle sphincter of the bile or pancreatic duct to remove gallstones.
  • Duct dilation and stenting, in which your physician uses a balloon catheter to stretch a narrowed opening. MedStar Health experts use endoscopes to place stents in the esophagus, duodenum, and colon that help by propping open areas blocked by tumors or other obstructions.
  • Cholangioscopy, in which a small scope is used to examine the bile duct and pancreatic duct and deliver treatments under endoscopic control.
  • Biliary lithotripsy, which allows your doctor to destroy gallstones trapped in your bile ducts.

Enteroscopy (Small Bowel Endoscopy)

The small intestine is roughly 25 feet long. To examine it requires specialized techniques and long instruments known as enteroscopes. An enteroscopy allows the visualization of the entire length of the small intestine using balloon and double balloon technology, which can allow your physician to identify the cause of unexplained gastrointestinal bleeding, small bowel tumors, and other possible conditions.

Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS) and Fine Needle Aspiration

EUS combines endoscopy and ultrasound, which uses sound waves to generate an image on a monitor. A tiny ultrasound transducer is mounted on the tip of the endoscope, allowing the physician to obtain high-quality ultrasound images from inside the body. Our extensive expertise in endoscopic ultrasound can be used to:

  • Detect, biopsy, and stage tumors anywhere in the GI tract
  • Assess esophageal, gastric, pancreatic, and rectal cancers
  • Detect common bile duct stones

Additionally, under ultrasound guidance, a fine needle can be passed down the endoscope into an enlarged lymph node or suspicious mass. The needle removes tissue from these sites, which a pathologist can evaluate for diagnosis.

Interventional Endoscopic Ultrasound

Interventional endoscopic ultrasound is used to treat pancreatic disease in various ways, including:

  • Cyst drainage
  • Placement of fiducials (small metal guides placed in and around tumors for radiation therapy)

Wireless Capsule Endoscopy (Pill Camera)

The patient swallows a vitamin-sized capsule that contains a camera, a light, batteries, and a transmitter. The capsule passes through the small intestine via the same muscle contractions that carry food, snapping two photos per second and transmitting them to a pager-sized receiver worn around the waist.

This new technology at MedStar allows physicians to see the entire length of the GI tract that cannot be visualized using the traditional endoscopic approach.

Endoscopic techniques for treating gastrointestinal cancers

  • Argon Plasma Coagulation (APC) is an advanced approach that uses an endoscope to deliver a burst of heat to a lesion. It can treat tumors in the stomach, esophagus or intestine and is a faster, simpler alternative to other laser treatments.
  • Endoscopic Mucosal Resection is used to treat and remove pre-cancer lesions or early cancer in the gastrointestinal tract.

Learn more about gastroenterology services provided by the Center for Digestive Disease at MedStar Franklin Square:

Location Information

For a physician referral, please call 443-777-2475.

MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center
9000 Franklin Square Drive
Baltimore, MD 21237

Learn More


inflammatory bowel disease

Recognized by U.S.News and World Report as high performing in gastroenterology and GI surgery in 2014-15

Meet the Philanthropy Team

Our philanthropy staff is available to answer your questions, provide further information or arrange a meeting to discuss how you can support MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center.

Feel free to call or email with any questions or comments! 

Contact the Philanthropy Team via email at [email protected].

Dina Mallis Klicos
Vice President of Philanthropy

443-777-7935 office

CeCe Finney
Philanthropy Officer 

MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center
MedStar Union Memorial Hospital

443-777-8341 MFSMC
410-554-2647 MUMH



Our Mailing Address

MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center
Office of Philanthropy
9000 Franklin Square Drive
Baltimore, MD 21237

Fax Number: 443-777-6180

How Does Robotic Surgery Differ From Laparoscopic Surgery?

Has your MedStar surgeon offered you a choice between robotic surgery and laparoscopic surgery? If so, you may wonder what the difference is between the two. No matter what type of surgery you choose, you can rest assured that you are in the hands of the most experienced and skilled doctors at MedStar Franklin Square. 

Most patients and physicians would agree that minimally invasive surgery is preferred over traditional open surgery techniques. However, sometimes patients at MedStar Franklin Square have the choice between two minimally invasive surgery techniques: robotic surgery and laparoscopic surgery. Only you and your MedStar doctor can decide which surgery is right for you. Learn more about the difference between robotic surgery and laparoscopic surgery in Baltimore below. 

Laparoscopic Surgery

In a traditional open surgery approach, your MedStar surgeon uses a large incision to perform the surgery. In laparoscopic surgery, your surgeon makes several small incisions into which he or she inserts small surgical tools and a camera. The camera allows your surgeon to see inside your body to perform the surgery.

All minimally invasive surgery techniques have similar benefits, such as less blood loss, reduced pain, smaller scars, shorter stay in the hospital and faster recovery times. However, there are some limitations to laparoscopic surgery such as 2D images and tools that offer a limited range of motion, which can make it difficult for your surgeon to work in small spaces.

Robotic Surgery

Robotic surgery is similar to laparoscopic surgery in the respect that they both use small incisions, a camera and surgical instruments. However, instead of holding and manipulating the surgical instruments his or herself, during robotic surgery, your MedStar Surgeon will sit at a computer console and use controls to manipulate the robot. The console provides your surgeon with high-definition, magnified 3D images, which allow for increased accuracy and vision inside your body. Compared to traditional surgery, robotic surgery provides your surgeon with a greater range of motion and precision, which may lead to less bleeding and post-operative pain.

Difference Between Robotic and Laparoscopic Surgery

They are both minimally invasive procedures that provide you with the most precise surgery and the shortest recovery, but a few key differences exist:

difference between robotic and laparoscopic surgery in Baltimore

Learn more about robotic surgery at MedStar Franklin Square:

Location Information

For a physician referral, please call 443-777-7900.

MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center
9000 Franklin Square Drive
Baltimore, MD 21237

Learn More