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Sacred Heart At RiverBend Gets New Surgical Robot

Desmond O'Boyle

Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend in Springfield recently obtained an updated version of their robotic Da Vinci Surgical System. KLCC’s Desmond O’Boyle stopped by to check out what the new X-i system can do.

Credit Desmond O'Boyle
The Da Vinci Xi

The Da Vinci X-i is the latest in robotic surgery. Four long mechanical arms use laser technology to make delicate incisions while surgeons and staff monitor screens. The system takes up an entire room and requires about the same amount of staff to operate as a traditional surgery. Doctor Charles Anderson works in the Gynecologic Oncology Department at Sacred Heart. He says certain procedures can be taxing on a surgeon’s body.

Credit Desmond O'Boyle
Doctor Charles Anderson using the Da Vinci X-i Simulator

Anderson: “With this, it allows us to have more comfort for longer surgeries. When I go home at night, my neck is not hurting, my back is not hurting. Traditionally that’s been an issue for a lot of surgeons.”

Anderson says previous Da Vinci models were limited to minimally invasive surgeries. The X-i is capable of more complex operations. He says the jury is still out as to how cost effective robotic surgery is.

Anderson: “Patients will go home sooner. Less days in the hospital equals less cost. On the other hand, using the device, the patient is charger more per procedure when you utilize this device. So, in the end, where does it fall out? It kinda remains to be determined.”

Anderson doesn’t think robotic surgery will replace actual doctors anytime soon. Sacred Heart is one of about a dozen hospitals in the U.S. using the Da Vinci X-i.

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