Zeus robot used in delicate procedure to deblock baby stomach

Shreveport 23 January 2002For the second time in 14 months, Dr. Celeste Hollands and her surgical team have performed a minimally invasive surgical procedure using Computer Motion's robotic system called Zeus. Dr. Hollands of Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center (LSUHSC) corrected a stomach blockage in a 19-day-old infant. The first such robotic surgery worldwide, the procedure conformed to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines for use of Zeus. The infant, a patient at LSU Hospital, is doing well.

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During the procedure, called a pyloromyotomy, Dr. Hollands stood at the Zeus console positioned next to the operating table and was able to use the controls which operate the "arms" of the Zeus robot. Dr. Hollands performed the surgery while viewing a magnified video image from inside the patient's body on her console screen.

"We were very pleased with the use of Zeus on this infant", Dr. Hollands stated. "Thanks to advances in technology such as Zeus and miniaturisation, patients like this baby today experience only a tiny incision rather than the major open surgeries which were necessary just a few years ago. What is really important here is that the Zeus system may allow me to decrease surgical trauma to the patient, which translates into a shorter hospital stay and reduced costs, recovery pain and time for the patient", added Dr. Hollands.

In November 2000, Dr. Hollands performed the first robotic general surgical procedure using Zeus in the United States to successfully remove a gall bladder in an adult patient with gall bladder disease. That procedure was part of a federally approved clinical study required for the Zeus system to gain FDA approval for use in certain surgeries on adults.

The FDA gave limited approval for use of Zeus in October 2001. Dr. Hollands foresees future broad application of the robotic system in paediatric surgery, which is her surgical sub-speciality. According to Dr. Hollands, robotic surgery brings better control, steadiness, and precision to the surgical procedure and laparoscopic instruments. This is especially important when working on the small scale of paediatric surgery.

In fact, this infant was born with another more serious problem that required major open surgery through his right chest the day after he was born. The initial surgery will leave the baby with a large incision. When the Zeus system is fully approved for this type of surgery, surgeons will be able to spare patients the trauma of the large incision surgery and subsequent scarring.

More news on the Zeus robotic system is available in the following VMW articles:


Leslie Versweyveld

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