Surgery Robot 'Bob' Offers State-of-the-art Care

May 01, 2010 | Shawna Malvini

American society is fond of naming things. Pets, buildings, cars — everything gets a moniker it seems. And thanks to a group of Portland, Ore., fifth-grader students, the new da Vinci surgery robot at Adventist Medical Center is properly titled: Introducing... "Bob."

As a way to celebrate the new state-of-the-art robot, AMC offered tours for local elementary students. Young visitors learned about the hospital's newest surgical technology and several were able to manipulate the robot's arms during the simulation. Tours included video demonstrations, fun facts about surgery, and information about the clinical team's education and skills. During their visit, the surgeons-to-be were encouraged to suggest names for the robot. From the 250 ballots submitted, AMC's surgical team chose "Bob" and honored the five lucky fifth-grader students who suggested it.

Also known as the da Vinci Si Robotic Surgical System, Bob will transform the way certain procedures are done at AMC — initially urology and gynecology, although the technology has clinical applications for many other specialties. The system involves a sophisticated robotic platform designed for complex surgeries using a minimally invasive approach. The technology provides surgeons with superior visualization, and enhanced dexterity and precision.

Through the high-resolution 3-D stereo viewer, anatomy appears at high magnification, in brilliant color and with natural depth of field. To perform a procedure, the surgeon places the robotic instruments through small incisions and uses the master controls to maneuver four robotic arms, which securely hold the instruments and high-resolution endoscopic camera.

For the patient, a robotic procedure offers the benefits of a minimally invasive approach, including less pain, less blood loss and less need for blood transfusions. It means a shorter length-of-stay, quicker recovery times and a faster return to normal daily activities.

"The da Vinci represents one of the greatest surgical advances at Adventist Medical Center," says Wes Rippey, AMC chief medical officer. "We are grateful for technology that will enhance the delivery of patient care." A group of physicians along with four nurses and two surgical technologists will comprise the initial team and are currently using the robot. David Winchester, a urologist, successfully completed the first procedure in late January.

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