New Robots Perform Surgery

The UC Irvine Medical Center became the first hospital to take robotic surgery to a new level when surgeons performed a prostatectomy on Thursday, March 29th, using the da Vinci S HD Robotic Surgical System, a new state-of-the art technology.
According to a press release on March 28, the da Vinci S HD Robotic Surgical System is an advanced robotic operating system that enhances the surgeon’s visual and manual capabilities and carries out small incisions, typical of minimally invasive surgeries.
‘We are pleased to be the first hospital in the area to offer the latest robotic technology to our patients,’ said Dr. David Bailey, vice chancellor for health affairs. ‘Robotic surgery benefits patients in many ways, including smaller incisions, shorter hospitalizations and quicker recoveries. The new high-definition system will enhance our surgeons’ capabilities, providing them greater visual acuity. Having the best image quality available should translate into better operations and better outcomes.’
The new high-definition system consists of four highly effective components. The surgeon console seats the surgeon comfortably while viewing a 3-D image of the surgical field and accommodates them with hand and wrist master controls that seamlessly translate the surgeon’s precise movements. The UCI patient side-cart provides a fourth laparoscopic arm designed for greater control over the surgery and allows surgical team members to perform demanding duties other than holding the retractor in place. The dependable endo-wrist instruments are designed with quick-release levers that speed up the operation and seven degrees of motion that mimic the human hand and wrist movements specific for clamping, suturing and tissue manipulation. The fourth component, the high resolution endoscope and image-processing equipment, provides enhanced and refined 3-D images of the operative field using high-intensity illuminators and camera control units.
‘As a surgeon, high-definition will allow me to extend my eyes and hands even further into the surgical field,’ said Dr. Ralph Clayman, chair of the Department of Urology, in a press release. ‘If I can see better, then I believe I can perform surgery better. Also having four robotic arms instead of three gives me more control over the procedure, allowing me to guide each surgical instrument every step of the way.’
Technological advancements in robotics, computer imaging and computers not only benefits the surgeon by enhancing their precision, dexterity and control, but also results in a number of patient benefits such as less pain, lower risks of infection, faster recoveries and shorter hospitalization.
The UCI Medical Center obtained Orange County’s first da Vinci Surgical System in 2002 when robotics prostatectomy was first introduced to Southern California by Dr. Thomas Ahlering. It has been using this technology for urologic, gynecologic, gastrointestinal and cardiac procedures. Since then, UCI surgeons were the first to perform cystectomies for bladder cancer using robotics technology and 24 surgeries have been performed to date by Ornstein and Dr. Allan Shanberg.
UCI also owns three other da Vinci robots, one for patient care and two others dedicated to training community physicians and residents at the Astellas Minimally Invasive Surgery Education Center, the busiest robotics training center on the West Coast.