MU Health Care's surgical robot performs first operations

1 year 8 months 3 weeks ago March 12, 2015 Mar 12, 2015 Thursday, March 12 2015 Thursday, March 12, 2015 3:53:00 PM CDT in News
By: Brady Finn, KOMU 8 Digital Producer

COLUMBIA - Surgeons began using their next generation surgical robot for minimally invasive surgeries this week.

More specifically, they used the da Vinci Xi robot in multiple surgeries, including removal of a cancerous tumor from a kidney and a hysterectomy.

Surgical urologist Naveen Pokala said the new technology gives patients who would typically need traditional open surgery the option of minimally invasive surgery.

"The new system is designed to simplify surgical procedures, especially those that require surgeons to access multiple areas throughout certain parts of the body like the pelvis, abdomen or chest," Pokala said.

Surgeons operate the robot using hand controls to guide its interactive arms, which are placed inside the patient's body.

Doctors have been using an earlier version of the robotic system at MU Health Care since 2008 for non-surgical procedures in pediatrics, general surgery and several other fields.

Surgeons say some of new robot's advantages include smaller arms, which lead to a better range of motion, and longer instrument shafts, which give surgeons a greater overall reach.

"Patients can expect tiny incisions, minimal scarring, shorter hospital stays, less blood loss, a reduced risk of infection and quicker return to normal daily activities," Pokala said.

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