Saint Joseph's Hospital acquires most advanced robotic surgical system

Atlanta 12 January 2006Saint Joseph's Hospital in Atlanta has acquired the Intuitive Surgical daVinci-S Surgical System, the most advanced robotic surgical system available. It is Saint Joseph's third daVinci robot and the first daVinci-S in clinical service in the world. The daVinci-S, a minimally-invasive surgical system, provides surgeons with enhanced features including an interactive video display, lower profile arms and greater mobility.

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"The daVinci and the daVinci-S robotic systems have given us the ability to see cardiac structures better and treat them more effectively while offering the patient the most minimally-invasive heart surgery possible", stated Douglas A. Murphy, chief of cardiothoracic surgery at Saint Joseph's. "In our experience, this has meant a better operation for the patient with reduced complications, hospital stays and recovery time."

Dr. Murphy and his team of Saint Joseph's nurses, anaesthesiologists and technicians were the first to perform cardiac surgery using the new daVinci-S including a mitral-valve repair, a coronary bypass and a thoracic mediastinal tumour excision. "We are very pleased to have the opportunity to be the first team to operate with the new daVinci-S model. We've only started to explore all the capabilities of this advanced robotic surgical system", Dr. Murphy stated.

Saint Joseph's acquired its first daVinci robotic surgical system in 2000 and Dr. Murphy was the principal investigator in the clinical trials for coronary bypass and atrial septal defect repair. Dr. Murphy and his colleagues have performed more than three hundred totally-endoscopic heart procedures using the daVinci 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.

At Saint Joseph's, the most common procedure using the daVinci robotic system has been mitral valve surgery. Dr. Murphy believes the daVinci system enhances the surgeon's ability to repair the valve rather than be forced to replace it with an artificial valve. "Saint Joseph's has established itself as a leader in minimally-invasive cardiac surgery and we're extremely pleased that they've chosen to invest in this new product", stated Lonnie Smith, president and CEO of Intuitive Surgical.

The daVinci System is operated by a surgeon sitting a few feet away from the patient at a console. Using a high-powered camera, the surgeon guides the robot's four arms that hold surgical tools which are inserted into the patient through small, keyhole-sized incisions. The daVinci's highly-accurate instruments allow the surgeon to move his own hands - and the robot's - to conduct precise movements with extraordinary control and precision. In addition, the daVinci's video monitoring system provides a three-dimensional view of the surgery with magnification ten times that of the naked eye. More daVinci news is available in the VMW September 2005 article Da Vinci robotic technique shows promise in weight-loss surgery.


Leslie Versweyveld

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