The da Vinci Surgical System at Ochsner

Image Caption Ochsner Medical Center is the leader of robotic surgery in the Gulf South region and is one of several training sites for the da Vinci Surgical System in the world. The da Vinci Surgical System is listed as number one in Forbes magazines, Five Robots That Will Change Your Life, and is a major advance in minimally invasive surgery.

The System is powered by state-of-the-art robotic technology which allows your surgeon's hand movements to be scaled, filtered and translated into precise movements of micro-instruments within the operative site. It cannot be programmed nor can it make decisions on its own; instead, the da Vinci System merely enhances surgical capabilities by enabling the performance of complex surgeries through tiny surgical openings. The magnified, three-dimensional view the surgeon experiences enables him to perform precise surgery in complex procedures through small surgical incisions.

The da Vinci Surgical System has been successfully used in thousands of prostate cancer procedures world-wide. The da Vinci System is a remarkable improvement over conventional laparoscopy, in which the surgeon operates while standing, using hand-held, long-shafted instruments, which have no wrists. With conventional laparoscopy, the surgeon must look up and away from the instruments, to a nearby 2D video monitor to see an image of the target anatomy. The surgeon must also rely on his/her patient-side assistant to position the camera correctly. In contrast, the da Vinci System's ergonomic design allows the surgeon to operate from a comfortable, seated position at the console, with eyes and hands positioned in line with the instruments. To move the instruments or to reposition the camera, the surgeon simply moves his/her hands. Image Caption

In addition, minimally invasive surgery is performed through dime-sized (1-2 cm) incisions - also called operating "ports". This is in contrast to the much larger incisions used in traditional, open surgery, which are often as large as 6-12 inches long. The smaller incisions used in "minimally invasive surgery" (MIS) typically enable shorter recovery times, fewer infections and reduced hospitalization costs. While MIS has become standard-of-care for a specific range of surgical procedures, it has not been widely adopted for more complex or delicate procedures. Moreover, the da Vinci System can enable a shorter hospital stay, a quicker recovery and faster 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.

New to the Ochsner Health System is its state of the art training facility geared towards training surgeons on the use of the da Vinci Surgical System. A designated trainer leads one-on-one hands-on training with the system. Trainer Kirstin Gabler comes to Ochsner from Intuitive Surgical, makers of the da Vinci Robot, with 4 years of Robotic training experience and offers sessions in Gynecology, Urology and General Surgery.

da Vinci is a registered trademark of Intuitive Surgical, Inc.