KNAU and Arizona News
12:54 am
Fri January 25, 2008

Surgical Robot at FMC

Flagstaff, AZ – Surgeons at Flagstaff medical center have a new tool called the da Vinci Surgical System. One week ago it was used to perform the first robotic surgery in the region. Arizona Public Radio's Theresa Bierer has the story.

TB VO) The system looks like something out of a science fiction novel with four robotic arms and instruments imitating the human hand . The surgeon sits at a console and uses a high resolution camera to perform a surgery. F-M-C Dr. Robert Berger learned the system in Chicago and is training surgeons in Flagstaff. He says complex surgeries that required cutting a patient open can now be done with small incisions using the da vinci system.

DR. BERGER ) with this device you can do those procedures in still a minimally invasive way so the patients recover faster, shorter length of time in the hospitals, less pain

TB VO) Berger says the 3 dimensional device is an improvement over traditional laparoscopic surgery which offers a one dimensional view of the body and is more difficult to operate. The F-D-A has approved the Da Vinci Surgical system for cardiac, bariatic urology and gynecology procedures. JoAnne Geiger is an F-M-C Nurse and coordinator for the robotic surgery program.

Nurse Joann) I never thought in my career I would see robotic surgery in an operating room. I thought it was still something off in the distant future. It's definintely very exciting.

TB) Dr. Berger says the da vinci surgical system is one step closer to Natural Orifice surgery an experimental technique where incisions are unnecessary.

BERGER) this is the platform to make smaller and smaller instruments to do more detailed surgeries through less invasive procedures so it is a step in that direction, it's a platform and that's why I think it's important to stay active and current in this type of surgery and be up to date on the progress so when this next leap comes we're ready to make that.

TB VO) Flagstaff medical center is the only hospital in Arizona expected to routinely use robotics for general and bariatirc surgeries. In Flagstaff, For Arizona Public Radio, I'm Theresa Bierer,