Baptist Health Corbin stepped into the next generation of robotic assisted precision surgery Thursday when its new da Vinci Xi Surgical System was delivered and installed.
The robotic system is an upgrade of the da Vinci robot that has been used at the hospital since 2011 in that it features:
- 3DHD vision
- Longer instrumentation
- A smaller camera which requires smaller incisions
- The ability to perform more precise surgery
Officials noted that the new model would allow surgeons to perform operations in multiple quadrants of the body in the areas of gynecology, urology, thoracic, cardiac and general surgery.
“You can’t do brain surgery with it, yet,” said Jake Isenbarger, an official from Intuitive, the company that designs and manufactures the robot.
Isenbarger was at the hospital to oversee the installation and setup of the robot.
Isenbarger said the magnification on the robot is 40X.
To explain that in everyday terms, he pointed to the Lincoln Memorial printed on the back of a $5 bill.
Looking at it with the naked eye, someone would see the statue of President Abraham Lincoln that is the centerpiece of the memorial.
“The name of each state is printed on the memorial. The magnification would allow you to see the names,” Isenbarger said.
During surgery, that magnification would allow the surgeon to see blood vessels.
“It gives you better vision, which allows for better precisions and more accuracy,” Isenbarger said.
Isenbarger said the new robot has a longer reach, which permits a surgeon to perform surgery on multiple quadrants without undocking and repositioning it.
“You can move everything where you want it to go, when you want it to go there,” Isenbarger said.
The robot has four arms to which the surgery staff attaches traditional surgical instruments.
In addition to the longer reach, Isenbarger said the arms are designed to move as if the surgeon were using their hands and wrists.
The surgeon operates from a station in the corner of the OR, using a series of hand and foot controls to maneuver the camera and instruments.
“This was originally designed for military doctors so they could operate on patients without having to be physically in the war zone,” Isenbarger said when asked if a surgeon could be at another hospital and perform the operation on a patient in Corbin.
“You can do it, though you don’t see it that often,” he said.
Like any other modern electronic device, Isenbarger said the robot would receive regular software upgrades that improve its performance.
Baptist Health Corbin President Anthony Powers said he is excited to have the hospital on the cutting edge of robotic surgery.
“We are very excited to bring the da Vinci Xi Surgical System on site at Baptist Health Corbin,” said Powers. “Not only can we provide state-of-the-art technology, we can also help our patients recover more rapidly with less pain.”