Surgery robot introduced at Ottawa Hospital
Surgery robot introduced at Ottawa Hospital

The Ottawa Hospital is welcoming the newest member of its surgical staff a robot that lets doctors remove mens prostates and repair faulty heart valves

The hospital has already used the da Vinci Surgical System on 100 patients but only officially welcomed the robot on Friday

quotWeve had great success with helping 100 prostate cancer and gynecologic cancer patients but we feel this is only going to get better as our program improves as we expand to other cancersquot said Rodney Breau a surgical oncologist at the Ottawa Hospital

The robot has three main parts levers with surgical tools look and feel which the doctor operates at a console a 3D video system that uses tiny cameras inserted into a patient to provide the surgeon with a view of their work and robotic arms that manipulate surgical instruments which can cut clamp cauterize and suture human tissue

The surgeon sits at a console with 3D viewing screens and mechanical levers that mimic surgical tools Salvatore Di NolfiKeystoneAssociated Press
Surgeons still control every aspect of an operation the robot doesnt do any work on its own But one advantage is that it can dampen the effects of a surgeons natural hand tremors

quotSo instead of what we would normally have another surgeon or specialized surgical assistant moving things we dont need thatquot Breau said quotThe nice about the robot it never gets tired so you can move something if you want to retract it and hold it there for a long period of timequot

The machines are made by Californiabased Intuitive Surgical Inc and cost about 14 million The Ottawa Hospital raised 5 million to purchase its system and to cover operating costs

The da Vinci robot is commonly used in the United States for prostate surgery but so far in Canada only a dozen facilities have one

Proponents of robotassisted surgery say it results in better outcomes for patients with smaller incisions less blood loss a lower risk of infection and less postoperative pain Critics maintain that most studies do not conclusively show that outcomes are better and that the money spent on the expensive machines would be better used in other ways

Date : 14 May, 2012
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