Archbold Begins Robotic Surgery

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Archbold Begins Robotic Surgery


Coverage by WALB


Story from Thomasville Times Enterprise:

DaVinci® surgery to provide many patient benefits

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A surgeon deftly makes an incision on a patient. Using the left hand, they gently pull back skin to allow better access to the abdomen. With the right hand, an exceptionally precise cut is made to remove unhealthy tissue. And the other left hand clamps a vessel to reduce bleeding.

Wait a second. The other left hand?

Welcome to the world of physician-controlled robotic surgery. It’s now in Thomasville, and it’s at Archbold Memorial Hospital. Historically a leader in the implementation of new medical technologies, Archbold has officially announced the launch of their robotic surgery program, featuring the daVinci® Surgical System.

DaVinci® offers physicians an effective, minimally invasive option for complex surgical procedures, performed currently as “open” surgery or laparoscopy.

The innovative surgical tool will be used by surgeons at Archbold to treat general, urological and gynecologic surgery conditions, resulting in fewer complications, reduced hospitalization costs and reduced trauma to the patient.

The daVinci® system uses innovative, advanced robotic technology that allows surgeons to operate through small, dime-size incisions. This provides surgeons with closer access to the surgical site than human vision will allow, all while working at a smaller scale than conventional surgery permits.

Admittedly, daVinci® really is more a robotic system than a robot.

The components of the robotic system include an ergonomically designed console where the surgeon sits while operating, a patient-side cart which includes video equipment and monitors, a high-definition 3D vision system that provides the surgeon with highly accurate depth perception, three interactive robotic arms—all with the ability to achieve range of motion greater than the human hand, and an extensive array of surgical tools— each with a specific surgical mission, such as clamping, suturing and tissue manipulation.

Superior visual clarity and depth perception are available real time video at the surgeon console. And, an unparalleled view of the surgery is projected simultaneously on a monitor for operating room staff to see—with the potential to be magnified up to 10 times actual size.

But it doesn’t mean a robot actually performs the surgery, or, for that matter, replaces the surgeon.

“It’s important for patients to know that surgery performed with the daVinci® System doesn’t place a robot at the controls, said Edward Hall, MD. “The surgeon is controlling every aspect of the surgery.

The System cannot be programmed, nor can it make decisions on its own to move in any way or perform any type of surgical maneuver without the surgeon’s input. In fact, the System requires that every surgical maneuver be performed with direct input from the physician.”

With the surgeon seated at the console a few feet from the patient, daVinci® translates and replicates the surgeon’s hand movements in real time, corresponding micro-movements of instruments inside the patient’s body. The design of the daVinci® System allows for natural hand-eye positioning at the surgeon’s console, provides a range-of-motion that enhances dexterity and enables surgeons to more accurately and easily perform complex surgical maneuvers through small “ports.”

Hall explains that the system relays some “force feedback” sensations from the operative field (inside the patient’s body) back to the surgeon throughout the procedure. The feedback provides a substitute for sensation, and is augmented by the enhanced vision provided by the high-definition 3D view.

Surpassing the limits of conventional laparoscopic surgery, and reducing the risks associated with “open” surgery, the daVinci® System has revolutionized many general, urological and gynecologic surgeries.

Board certified general surgeons at Archbold will utilize the daVinci® System as treatment for lung, stomach, mediastinal and esophageal cancer, as well as gallbladder disease and stones and pancreatic disease (cancer and pancreatitis).

The daVinci® System provides a minimally invasive approach for  treating cancerous and non-cancerous conditions in the chest, an area that is difficult to access through open surgery and conventional minimally invasive approaches.

“For many years, traditional open surgery has been the standard approach to treating a wide range of conditions,” said Hall. “The daVinci® System revolutionizes surgical treatment for lung cancer, transforming a traditional one-to-two week hospital stay—part of which was spent in intensive care—to a one-to-two day recovery time without intensive care.”

The daVinci® System will be used to perform prostatectomy and other urologic procedures used to treat prostate cancer, ureteropelvic junction (UPJ) obstruction, bladder and kidney cancer and vesicoureteral reflux.

“Robotic surgery offers patients facing urologic surgery many potential benefits,” said urologist Timothy G. Grayson, MD. “The target site in urological surgery is not only tightly confined but also surrounded by nerves affecting urinary control and sexual function. The precision of daVinci® and its ability to accurately and easily perform complex  surgical maneuvers in small areas makes it the recommended treatment for many conditions that affect the male reproductive organs and urinary tract organs.”

It’s expected that the largest majority of cases, however, will come from gynecologic patients.

According to Sandra B. Reed, MD, OB/GYN, the daVinci® System will be used to perform surgical treatment for a range of gynecologic conditions including, but not limited to, cervical and uterine cancer, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, uterine prolapse and menorrhagia or excessive bleeding.

Reed explained that surgery performed through smaller incisions, as with the daVinci® System, results in reduced pain and trauma to the body, allowing patients to recover quicker and return to their normal activities faster than with traditional open surgery. Scarring is also minimized, as well as the risk of infection and bleeding.

“While all surgeries carry risk, traditional open surgery with a large incision, has its specific drawbacks – pain, trauma, long recovery time and risk of infection,” said Reed. “A hysterectomy (the surgical removal of the uterus) can be performed with the daVinci® System through tiny incisions of 1-2 cm, compared to an open surgical approach, which requires a large abdominal incision of approximately 6-12 in,” said Reed. “I’m proud to offer patients an alternative to open gynecologic surgery. Surgery with the daVinci® System will allow patients to get back to life faster - within days rather than the usual weeks required with traditional surgery.”

Physicians at Archbold stress that learning about surgical options can help you to make the best decision for your situation and ease any anxiety you may be feeling about surgery. One of the best ways to truly understand the robotic surgery with the daVinci® Surgical System is to hear directly from the surgeons who are using it, in their own words.

Dr. Reed will present a free community lecture, including a sneak preview with the actual daVinci® system, on April 14, 2011. Dr. Hall will serve as a contributing speaker.

The lecture will begin at 6 p.m. and be held in the Williams Auditorium at Archbold Hospital. Light dinner will be served. Pre-registration is requested, call 229-227-5140 or RSVP by email to