A Publication of WTVP

For many of us, the first image of a robot was from the TV series Lost in Space. The robot, who was like a part of the Robinson family, would flail its arms around, shouting “Danger, Will Robinson!” Times have certainly changed, as we are now using robots to perform minimally invasive surgery. Of course, the robots aren’t able to talk, but they can perform amazing things for surgeons.

OSF Saint Francis Medical Center has recently acquired our second da Vinci surgery robot from Intuitive Surgical. We are the only hospital in the area with two da Vinci surgical robotic platforms, and we are creating a comprehensive robotics program that includes five specialties: general surgery, gynecological (cancer and benign), cardiac, urology (prostate) and pediatric urology. In fact, Dr. Benjamin Rhee of Children’s Hospital of Illinois performs the largest volume of robotic pediatric urology cases in the nation!

For the patient, a da Vinci procedure can offer all the potential benefits of a minimally invasive procedure, including less pain, less blood loss and less need for blood transfusions. Moreover, the da Vinci system can enable a shorter hospital stay and quicker recovery and return to normal daily activities. Clinical studies also suggest that the da Vinci system may help surgeons provide better clinical outcomes than conventional technologies allow-for example, better cancer control and a lower incidence of impotence and incontinence with da Vinci Prostatectomy.

OSF Saint Francis Medical Center is excited to have surgeon leaders trained and qualified to use this technology in a productive and efficient way. The University Of Illinois College Of Medicine at Peoria has recruited Dr. Sal LoCoco as chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. LoCoco has been a proctor for da Vinci on a national basis, which allows OSF Saint Francis Medical Center’s robotics program to be one of 14 sites in the nation to train surgeons on this high-tech device.

Da Vinci enables GYN surgeons to perform more complex operations through just a few tiny incisions, thereby minimizing the need to perform traditional abdominal (open) surgery. As a result, da Vinci GYN surgeons can offer the benefits of minimally invasive surgery to a broader range of patients. Potential benefits include:

With the opening of the Milestone Building in July 2010, OSF Saint Francis Medical Center will have two surgical suites fully dedicated to robotic surgery, allowing more doctors and surgeons to be able to treat more of their patients with this minimally invasive device. iBi