Members of the Charendoff family, including Elaine Charendoff, wife of the late Dr. Leo Charendoff, her two sons and daughter, their spouses and eight grandchildren, recently received a tour of the Cystoscopy Suite located within the Operating Room area at Manchester Memorial Hospital (MMH). The Charendoff children and grandchildren had traveled to Connecticut from Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania for Thanksgiving.
The family wanted to visit the Cystoscopy Suite, which was dedicated to the memory of Leo Charendoff, MD, in September 2002. Dr. Charendoff retired in 2000 after 39 years of service at Manchester Memorial Hospital. The dedication plaque on the wall reads “Given in honor of Leo Charendoff, MD, Respected Physician and Teacher, by the partners of Associated Urologists, PC, December 1, 2000.” His partners, Dr. Robert Rodner (who was the first physician to join Dr. Charendoff’s solo practice in 1975, which then became Associated Urologists), Dr. Arthur LaMontagne, Dr. Thomas Staley, and Dr. Anthony DiStefano remain in the practice today. Dr. David Rosenberg joined the practice a few years ago. At the dedication ceremony, Dr. Rodner referred to Dr. Charendoff as the “father of modern urology and a mentor to all of the physicians in the practice, not only in surgical excellence but also in extraordinary patient care and community involvement.”
Dr. Charendoff, a graduate of the University of Toronto Medical School, mastered a new surgical procedure during his residency at The Bronx Municipal Hospital Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, an expertise he brought to Connecticut and to Manchester Memorial Hospital and Rockville General Hospital (RGH). He was the Chief of the MMH and RGH Urology Services for many years, the Chief of the MMH Department of Surgery from 1989-90, and the President of the MMH Medical Staff from 1986-1987. During his tenure, Dr. Charendoff saw dramatic changes in technology that revolutionized complex surgical procedures and created better patient outcomes. “We can only imagine what his reaction would be if he were here with us today to see our latest surgical breakthrough, the da Vinci Si with single-site and Firefly technology,” said Linda Lemire, MS, RN, NEA-BC, Assistant Vice President of Patient Care Services at Eastern Connecticut Health Network (ECHN). “He would have been like a kid in a candy shop.”
During an interview in 2000, Dr. Charendoff reminisced about the instrumentation available in his early years. He said “In those days the small incandescent bulbs in cystoscopies were in the instrument itself, and the resulting level of illumination was poor. The bulbs often blew out in the middle of a procedure.” Fortunate for all of us, technological advances continue to rapidly evolve. “He would have been so impressed and pleased with the da Vinci Si Firefly technology,” said Lemire. “Firefly is an integrated fluorescence imaging capability that provides surgeons real-time, image-guided identification of key anatomical landmarks using near-infrared technology. Fluorescence imaging allows surgeons to see and assess anatomy better than the naked eye.”
Dr. Charendoff may not have had the pleasure of seeing the da Vinci robot, but his family did. They received a presentation by Andrea Kotsch RN, CL II, CNOR, a resource staff nurse for robotic surgery at ECHN. Kotsch not only explained how the surgeon uses the da Vinci Si surgical system for intricate surgeries, she also let the family “play” with the robot using the skills simulator that is part of the new system. The family, as family members often do, developed a friendly competition of moving the robotic arms to pick up game pieces in the simulation program.
The Charendoff family was moved and excited to see the Cystoscopy Suite and the da Vinci Si.
The Charendoff Family visits Cystoscopy Suite at Manchester Memorial Hospital.