The New Cutting Edge: Robot Makes Surgery More Efficient, Recovery Smoother

Let’s say you and your doctor decide you need surgery to treat an ailment. How will you measure the operation’s success? Reduced symptoms? Remission?

North Shore University Hospital (NSUH) is aiming for a higher standard. The objective is to trim the time under anesthesia, set patients up for a speedy recovery and leave the smallest possible visible scars behind. A new robotic-assisted surgical system called da Vinci Xi gives NSUH surgery patients all these benefits.

Minimum Invasion, Maximum Benefits

NSUH surgeons use the Xi system for minimally invasive surgical operations. The hospital is one of only three sites in the New York region to offer this latest version of the da Vinci surgical robot. With this system, surgeons perform complex procedures from a computer console that controls the system’s arms, which are equipped with surgical tools and a real-time 3D video camera.

Xi differs from previous robotic-assisted surgery units because it lets surgeons operate on multiple areas of the body without repositioning the robot between surgical sites.

Lee Richstone, MD, vice chair of urology for the North Shore-LIJ Health System and chief of urology at NSUH, provided an example: a nephron-urectomy, which involves the kidney and ureter. “We have to work where the kidney is, then operate into the deep parts of the pelvis to remove the ureter and work on the bladder,” said Dr. Richstone. “That was harder with the prior robot, because you had to position it for one procedure and then break it down and reposition it.” He added that the Xi should shorten the overall length of the surgery and how much time a patient remains anesthetized.

A New Standard for Surgery

“The da Vinci Xi robot has changed surgical oncology,” said James Sullivan, MD, surgical oncologist and associate chair of surgery at the North Shore-LIJ Cancer Institute. “Cancer cases that previously required ‘open’ or ‘conventional’ surgery can now be performed robotically — including cancers of the esophagus, stomach and pancreas. Surgeries that used to require foot-long incisions in the abdomen and chest now require an incision of only eight to 15 millimeters.”

Watch the da Vinci Xi in action:


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