Robots were once just a thing of science fiction. But, over the last decade, they have become more commonplace in hospital operating rooms, offering tremendous benefits for patients and surgeons alike. With the recent addition of the latest generation of da Vinci Xi Robotic Surgical technology at Kenmore Mercy Hospital, Sisters of Charity Hospital and Mercy Hospital of Buffalo, robotic surgery is thriving at Catholic Health.
For a growing number of general surgery, prostate, kidney, gynecological, urological and colorectal procedures, the da Vinci robotic surgical system is setting the standard in minimally invasive surgical care.
While it's referred to as a "robot," the da Vinci system cannot act on its own. In fact, it's more like an extension of the surgeons' hands, as they sit comfortably behind a computerized console. The console features a monitor that provides a magnified, high-definition 3D image of the surgical site, along with hand controls that direct the machine's robotic arms, which guide the laparoscopic instruments.
"The system's technology converts my hand movements at the console into delicate and precise instrument manipulation, providing access to hard-to-reach areas of the body and unprecedented accuracy, flexibility and range of motion," said Matthew Cywinski, MD, a surgeon with the Buffalo Medical Group, who performs colorectal surgery at Kenmore Mercy Hospital.
Appropriately named after Leonardo da Vinci, the surgical system captures the famed artist and inventor's technological ingenuity and inventive imagination. And while it has revolutionized robotic surgery around the world, it's not the only robotic system available in Catholic Health. Kenmore Mercy orthopedic surgeons, John Repicci, DDS, MD, and Peter Shields, MD, use Mako Robotic Arm technology - the first and only system of its kind in Western New York - to perform advanced knee and hip replacements with greater precision.
Surgical robotics, like the Mako and da Vinci, offer many advantages for surgeons, including unparalleled precision due to better visualization of the surgical field, correction for tremors in hand movements and greater maneuverability of instruments. For patients, robotic surgery offers smaller incisions, which means shorter hospital stays, quicker recoveries, less pain, fewer complications and faster return to normal activities.