Washington Hospital performs first robotic laparoscopic colectomy using ZEUS Surgical System

Fremont 21 February 2003Surgeons at Washington Hospital in Fremont, California have performed the first completely robotic laparoscopic colectomy in the United States using the ZEUS Surgical System. Dr. Ramsey Araj, Medical Director of Washington's Institute for Minimally Invasive and Robotic Surgery, performed the total abdominal colectomy procedure on a 60-year-old male patient.

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"We are very pleased at the outcome of this milestone surgery", stated Dr. Araj. "Robotics is the major advancement of a larger trend toward minimally invasive surgery, which benefits patients with shorter recovery times and reduced pain and trauma."

Minimally invasive surgery allows physicians to perform many kinds of major surgery with less patient trauma and pain, minimal scarring, faster recovery, and shorter hospital stays. Surgeries are performed through small incisions, instead of the large incisions needed for conventional "open" surgeries. The use of robotics is advancing minimally invasive techniques to further minimise the physical and emotional impact of surgery on patients.

According to Dr. Araj, robotics bring added benefits to the minimally invasive approach including finer precision, greater control, and increased dexterity to the surgical area. During surgery, Dr. Araj sits at the ZEUS console adjacent to the patient, and controls the three ZEUS "arms" positioned over the patient. Two of these ZEUS arms hold surgical instruments, and the third arm is the AESOP endoscopic camera positioner.

AESOP is controlled by Dr. Araj to position the camera inside the patient. Dr. Araj operates while viewing the magnified image from inside the patient, on his console. General surgeons Dr. Tom Dugoni and Dr. Bill Dugoni assisted during the surgery and were enthusiastic about the range of ZEUS' capabilities utilised during this procedure and about the physical benefits to the operating room staff including reducing surgeon fatigue and freeing staff to attend to other important patient care activities.

"Washington Hospital is incorporating robotics into many of its clinical and educational areas, to help train future surgeons and provide our patients with the most advanced medical treatments", Dr. Araj stated. Washington Hospital is among the first of a growing number of Bay Area health care facilities to use robotics for educational and clinical applications. Washington Hospital is the only area hospital with a full suite of integrated robotic technology, allowing surgeons the highest level of opportunity to pioneer and innovate surgical care for their patients.

"This successful procedure epitomises our mission to serve our community", stated Washington Hospital CEO Nancy Farber. "We are committed not just to serve to the best of our ability, but to increasing our abilities to provide the best care."

The Washington Hospital's Institute for Minimally Invasive and Robotic Surgery was launched in early 2002 with a state-of-the-art robotic surgical suite including a fully integrated system of ZEUS, AESOP, the HERMES Control Center, and the SOCRATES Telecollaborative System. Dr. Araj is performing several types of abdominal surgeries with ZEUS and mentoring surgeons at Washington and from other health care systems in laparoscopic and robotic surgery.

Washington Hospital Healthcare System, a not-for-profit locally owned hospital, is dedicated to serving the Washington Township District community through a full-range of medical services, education and research. The hospital is directed by a group of elected community leaders who serve on the Board. Washington Hospital Healthcare System is a provider of innovative health care services and operates 11 care-giving sites including the hospital with over 300 beds, Urgent Care Clinics, Outpatient Centers, Washington-Stanford Sleep Disorders Clinic, Washington-Stanford Radiation Oncology Center, Washington-Packard Children's Special Care Nursery, and Washington West which houses a Community Health Resource Library and Health Insurance Information Service.

Computer Motion Inc. is a high-tech medical device company that develops, manufactures, and markets proprietary computer-enhanced and robotic surgical systems including ZEUS Surgical System, AESOP Robotic Endoscope Positioner, HERMES Control Center, and the SOCRATES Telecollaboration System. More news is available in the VMW November 2002 article Surgeons in Italy and Israel perform telepresence surgery with Computer Motion's SOCRATES Robotic Telecollaboration System.


Leslie Versweyveld

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