Saint Joseph's Hospital named exclusive Southeast training centre for robotic surgery

Atlanta 12 August 2004Saint Joseph's Hospital in Atlanta has been designated as the exclusive training centre in the Southeastern United States including Georgia, Alabama, Florida, South Carolina and Mississippi, for the da Vinci Robotic Surgical System. Intuitive Surgical's da Vinci Surgical System received FDA-approval in July to perform coronary artery bypass surgery.


Saint Joseph's was one of the principal investigation sites in the United States for the clinical trials. Douglas Murphy, MD, chief of cardiac surgery at Saint Joseph's, has performed more than one hundred totally endoscopic heart operations using the da Vinci Robotic Surgical System. Endoscopic surgery allows the surgeon to repair the heart through small holes in the chest without any incisions involving the ribs or breast bone. Patients recover from the surgery in days rather than weeks.

"With FDA clearance and Saint Joseph's designation as the Southeastern training site, the da Vinci Surgical System is now available to a broader audience for a broader scope of minimally-invasive cardiac procedures ranging from valve repair to coronary bypass", stated Dr. Murphy. "This is a significant step forward because patients now can have proven cardiac surgical repairs without the invasive incisions. Robotically-assisted surgery provides unmatched surgical precision and causes less pain, less blood loss and significantly improved patient recovery time."

The da Vinci Surgical System previously has received FDA approval for use in general surgery, urology including prostatectomy, and cardiothoracic surgeries including lung and heart surgery. Saint Joseph's selection as an exclusive training site was based on the hospital's expertise in minimally-invasive techniques, strong surgical support teams and commitment to patient care.

"Advanced robotics is revolutionizing minimally-invasive surgery for both the patient and the physician. The da Vinci System and our training designation illustrate Saint Joseph's mission to offer the most advanced medical technology and provide the best health care to our patients", stated Bonnie Phipps, president and CEO of Saint Joseph's Health System.

Celebrating its 125th anniversary, Saint Joseph's, Atlanta's oldest hospital, is a 346-bed, acute-care hospital recognized as one of the top speciality-referral hospitals in the Southeast. Specialized in cardiac, neurologic, vascular, gastro-intestinal, respiratory, orthopaedic and cancer care, Saint Joseph's offers patients and its medical staff of 750 physicians research services and the most advanced technology available.

Saint Joseph's has received numerous awards including the distinguished Magnet Recognition for Nursing Excellence; HealthGrades rating of "best in Georgia and among the top five percent in the nation" for cardiac and vascular care and Solucient's 100 Top Hospitals for cardiac and orthopaedic care. Saint Joseph's is the only Atlanta hospital named by J.D. Power and Associates as a Distinguished Hospital for Service Excellence. Sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Saint Joseph's is a member of Catholic Health East.

More news about the FDA clearance of Intuitive Surgical's da Vinci Surgical System for coronary artery bypass surgery is available in the VMW August 2004 article FDA clears Intuitive Surgical's robotic-like device for cardiac revascularization

Leslie Versweyveld

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