Southeastern Health

Southeastern introduces robot-assisted surgery to its operating room

Five hundred years ago, Leonardo da Vinci was working in Italy as an artist and engineer, drawing amazingly detailed sketches of human anatomy and even designing a number of complex machines.


Today, a robot-assisted surgery system that bears his name is being used by doctors worldwide to repair heart valves, remove gallbladders and perform other procedures.

Southeastern Regional Medical Center is pleased to introduce the da Vinci® Si Surgical System to our operating room and to our community. This is a significant arrival because of the value it offers our surgical staff and those in the region we serve. The first surgical case utilizing this technology at Southeastern is scheduled for September 18. 

Commenting on the introduction of the da Vinci Si System, Southeastern President and CEO Joann Anderson said, “We believe that the new features of the da Vinci Si System will help us provide the best possible outcomes and is proof of our commitment to provide our community access to the latest advancements in minimally invasive surgery.”

The da Vinci Surgical System consists of two main pieces of equipment: The first is a computer console that contains a viewing monitor, hand controls and foot pedals. This is where the surgeon sits.

The second is a cart that sits beside the patient. The cart holds four robotic arms that have flexible, articulated wrists. One arm holds a miniature camera that transmits a three-dimensional image of the operating area to the console's monitor. The other three arms can hold a variety of surgical tools.

During surgery, the surgeon sits at the console a few feet from the operating table. A magnified, high-definition image of the operating area appears on the monitor. The surgeon then performs the procedure, using the computerized hand and foot controls to manipulate the robotic arms.

The da Vinci® Si has several unique features designed to provide additional clinical benefits and efficiency in the operating room, many of which translate to patient benefits. Here are a few features of the da Vinci® Si:  

  • Enhanced 3D, high-definition vision of operative field with up to 10x magnification
  • New optional dual console allows second surgeon to provide assistance
  • Superior visual clarity of tissue and anatomy
  • Surgical dexterity and precision far greater than even the human hand
  • Updated and simplified user interface to enhance OR efficiency
  • New ergonomic settings for greater surgeon comfort  

Together, these technological advancements provide our surgeons with unparalleled precision, dexterity and control that enable a minimally invasive approach for many complex surgical procedures.

da Vinci’s advanced level of technology takes surgery beyond the limits of the human hand. The magnified view of the operating field, combined with the flexibility and precision of the computer-controlled surgical tools, allows for very small incisions during surgery.

Therein lies the key benefit of this system, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Compared with traditional surgery, these smaller incisions potentially result in less blood loss, less pain and a quicker recovery.

The increased precision can mean a lower risk of bleeding and needing a transfusion during surgery. In some procedures, such as removal of the prostate, it can also lessen the amount of time a urinary catheter is needed after surgery.

The FDA first approved the da Vinci system in 2000 for a limited number of surgeries, including gallbladder removal and surgical treatment of severe heartburn.

Over the years, the system has been authorized for use in an increasing variety of procedures. These include:

  •  Removal of the prostate (prostatectomy).
  • Repair of the mitral valve in the heart.
  •  Removal of the uterus (hysterectomy).
  •  Removal of uterine fibroids (myomectomy).
  • Surgeries to treat cancer in the bladder, colon and kidneys.
  •  Coronary artery bypass surgery.

Not all surgeries can be performed using the da Vinci system, notes the FDA, and not everyone is a candidate for its use. For example, it might not be appropriate for someone who is obese or has had previous abdominal surgery.

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 20 November 2012 14:10 )  

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