Robot gives surgeons an extra arm
A new surgical robot at Delnor-Community Hospital has its medical staff buzzing.
In October, Delnor became the hospital farthest west in the Chicago area to operate with the daVinci surgical robot, according to Megan Cern, a representative of Intuitive Surgical, which makes the robot.
Dr. Jonathan Song, a gynecologist at Delnor and an assistant professor at Rush University, has been performing advanced laparoscopic, or minimally invasive surgery, and said the daVinci decreases a patient’s recovery time because incisions are very small and less painful.
“Most people go home the same day,” Song said.
He said with traditional surgery, the patient usually is in the hospital for several days with six to eight weeks of recovery time.
Delnor’s daVinci is the latest model by Intuitive. It features a 3-D high-definition monitor with magnification options. A doctor controls the robot’s four surgical arms from a nearby console while an assistant works at the patient’s side.
Dr. Gustavo Banti, who is a senior urologist at Delnor and has been in practice since 1982, had little trouble adapting to the new technology.
“Everything we did before, the machine allows us to do better,” Banti said.
Banti said the faster recovery time allows the patient to return to work faster and, in his specialty, it preserves sexual functionality and urinary continence.
Initially, Song thought patients would question being operated on by a robot, but he said many read information about daVinci on the Internet and actually request its use.
“Most patients already have heard of the robot when they walk into the office,” Song said.
Dr. Scott Helm, an anesthesiologist at Delnor, also is excited about the new robot.
“The fact that we brought this in is a sign that we’re interested in state-of-the-art medicine,” Helm said. “We’re hoping this is going to form the base of a larger oncology program.”
Kathy Hall, director of oncology at Delnor, said 80 percent of prostate removals are performed with the daVinci.
“We anticipate growth in gynecological surgeries and prostatectomies with this equipment,” Hall said.
Medical professionals advise serious consultation between patients and physicians to determine the best surgical option.
“This high-quality technology has been able to meet the needs of our community and offer less invasive surgical procedures to our patients,” Hall said.
Only about 600 robotic systems are being used in the country.
Delnor’s daVinci is used in one of the hospital’s surgical suites, which was opened in March, Hall said.
Chicago Suburban Life