MANHASSET, NY – North Shore University Hospital (NSUH) recently upgraded its robot-assisted surgical program with the addition of da Vinci Xi technology, which allows hospital surgeons to perform minimally invasive operations with greater dexterity and precision, the North Shore-LIJ Health System announced today.
The hospital is one of only three sites in the New York region offering the latest version of the surgical robot, which received FDA approval in April.
Robotic-assisted surgery allows surgeons to perform complex medical procedures from a computer console that controls the robot's arms. Surgical tools and a real-time 3D video camera are attached to the robotic arms and manipulated by a surgeon through tiny incisions during surgery. The procedure is an alternative to traditional surgery and conventional laparoscopy.
“This is a necessary investment on the part of North Shore University Hospital in order for us to continue to be a center of excellence for minimally invasive surgery,” said Alessandro Bellucci, MD
, executive director of the hospital. “The new technology expands the capabilities and efficiency of the robot, which leads to faster recovery time and better surgical outcomes.”
With the upgrade, surgeons no longer have to manually reposition and adjust the robot if more than one area on a patient’s body is being operated on, such as in a nephrourectomy, which involves the kidney and ureter, explained Lee Richstone, MD
, vice chairman of Urology for the health system and chief of Urology at NSUH.
“We have to work in the upper quadrant where the kidney is and then operate all the way down into the deep parts of the pelvis to remove the ureter and actually work on the bladder,” said Dr. Richstone. “That’s been very difficult with the prior robot because you had to position it for one procedure and then break it down and reposition it. It takes extra time setting up the patient, moving the robot.
“By simplifying the setup positioning this should hopefully shorten the length of the procedure overall, which has patient benefits such as reduced anesthesia time and reduced operating time,” he said.
In the future, the new model will be equipped with imaging technology allowing surgeons to assess the blood flow to certain organs, such as the kidney, and identify cancerous and noncancerous tissue during surgery, said Dr. Richstone. This will help spare healthy tissue and ensure proper kidney function.
“The da Vinci Xi robot has changed the paradigm in robotic applications in surgical oncology. Cancer cases that previously required "open or conventional surgery" can now be performed robotically. These include surgery for cancers of the esophagus, stomach and pancreas,” explained James Sullivan, MD
, surgical oncologist and associate chairman of Surgery. “Previously, robotic applications for colon cancer were limited by arm conflicts of the previous generation robot, and performing "multi-quadrant " surgery is now performed with ease. Patients that had foot long incisions in the abdomen and the chest can now have that same surgery with 8-15mm incisions requiring only a Band-Aid.”
Since 2002, the health system has been performing robotic surgeries, which are also done at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, Lenox Hill Hospital and Staten Island University Hospital. Last year, NSUH performed 647 surgeries using the da Vinci robot, and 2,013 systemwide.
Throughout the health system, the da Vinci robot is used for general surgeries, as well as more specialized ones such as cardiovascular, thoracic, gynecologic and women’s health, colorectal, bariatric, cancer and urologic.
About North Shore-LIJ Health System
One of the nation's largest health systems, North Shore-LIJ delivers world-class clinical care throughout the New York metropolitan area, pioneering research at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, a visionary approach to medical education highlighted by the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine, and healthcare coverage to individuals, families and businesses through the North Shore-LIJ CareConnect Insurance Co. Inc. North Shore-LIJ cares for people at every stage of life at 17 hospitals and more than 400 outpatient physician practices throughout the region. North Shore-LIJ’s owned hospitals and long-term care facilities house more than 6,000 beds, employ more than 10,000 nurses and have affiliations with over 9,400 physicians. With a workforce of about 48,000, North Shore-LIJ is the largest private employer in New York State. For more information, go to www.northshorelij.com