New uses for da Vinci robotic surgery.
Naperville Sun HealthAware column:
Edward’s da Vinci Si Surgical System in high demand
October 15, 2012
There has been little down time for Edward Hospital’s da Vinci Si Surgical System since it was acquired in 2010. Surgeons at Edward are using the robotic technology to treat more patients than was anticipated and perform an increasing variety of procedures.
da Vinci allows surgeons, sitting at a console just a few feet from the patient, to perform movements that human hands alone can’t do. The system’s technology translates the surgeon’s hand movements into steady, precise micro-movements. Its robotic arms have wrists that can rotate 540 degrees. And the system’s three-dimensional magnification helps the doctor visualize the area as they operate.
People may be most aware of robotic-assisted surgery for prostate cancer treatment. Edward also uses da Vinci for many gynecological procedures.
“We performed 560 robotic-assisted surgeries between June 2010 and Aug. 31, 2012, which is well above what we projected,” says Kim Stache, Edward’s associate vice president of operations. “Of this number, there were 251 hysterectomies, and 145 prostatectomies (removal of the prostate).”
Dr. Ronald Potkul, of the Loyola University Medical Group, has performed robotic-assisted hysterectomies at Edward as well as at Loyola University Hospital, where he serves as chairperson of obstetrics and gynecology.
“Laparoscopic surgery has markedly reduced pain and recovery time for women undergoing hysterectomies, compared with traditional open surgery,” Potkul says. “With da Vinci, you have the added benefit of wrist movement in the robotic arms. In comparison, we call laparoscopic equipment, ‘straight sticks.’ The robotic flexibility helps us access areas that are tricky to reach, and it’s especially helpful with very heavy patients.”
da Vinci at Edward also has been used for urological and certain general surgeries, as well as thoracic operations (involving structures in the chest). And early in 2012, surgeon J.B. Joo, of the Surgical Practice medical group, performed Edward’s first robotic-assisted colorectal surgery.
The patient had pre-operative stage III rectal cancer, and her tumor was of the type and location that made her a good candidate for robotic-assisted surgery.
“The da Vinci approach offers the laparoscopic advantages — smaller incisions, quicker recovery — and more. Instead of using laparoscopic equipment in the port, we attach the robotic equipment. Same surgery, better instruments,” Dr. Joo says. “If a tumor is in an area that’s difficult to see or where it’s difficult to move standard laparoscopic equipment around, robotics can give you better visibility, dexterity and precision.”
According to Joo, robotic-assisted colorectal surgery offers some patients with certain types of rectal tumors a key advantage relating to colostomy. With a colostomy, the surgeon brings part of the large intestine though a hole in the abdomen so that waste can be redirected to a bag worn outside the body.
“In certain limited situations, da Vinci could prevent the need for a colostomy,” he says. “This potential sphincter-preserving capability is an important benefit to those patients.”
Stache says additional new uses for Edward’s da Vinci system are on the horizon, including pediatric surgeries, expected to start late this year.
Naperville, Illinois (IL) - Edward Hospital and Health Services