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Physician Profile: Robert Santa-Cruz, M.D.

Published September 2023 | In Fall 2023

Monument Health urologists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of urinary tract problems involving the kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra in both men and women. They also treat conditions involving the prostate and other reproductive organs in men. Urologists with Monument Health are members of the American College of Surgeons.

Physician Profile: Robert Santa-Cruz, M.D. Media

My Role

First and foremost, I am a urologist who provides care to my patients. I am also the director of the Monument Health Robotics Program, which gives me the opportunity to collaborate with different specialties such as neurosurgery, general surgery and pulmonary medicine — which also use robotics during surgery.

My Goal

We are building a world-class group of robotic surgeons who are on the cutting edge of medicine — right here in the Black Hills. It's important to me that surgeries go well, the outcomes are good and we don't have a lot of readmissions or patients having to return for more unplanned care. To accomplish this goal, we are continuously building our robotics program to utilize the best equipment.

My Passion

I have a special interest in urological cancer and am passionate about providing great cancer care. I love collaborating with my colleagues in different specialties, such as medical oncology and radiation oncology, to give patients the best outcome they can get. We have a chance to cure a lot of diseases as surgeons and it makes me happy to be able to do that. One way we have ensured those high-quality outcomes is by expanding the technology with a single port robotics system.

Monument Health has the first single port robotic surgical arm in use in South Dakota. The single port reduces the number of incisions needed to perform surgery and is clinically proven to reduce post-procedure pain. The single port allows surgeons more versatility, allowing them to work in smaller areas or in areas with existing scar tissue.