Art and Science Meet: The human touch is made remarkable by the da Vinci® surgical robot

Art and Science Meet

The human touch is made remarkable by the da Vinci® surgical robot

Courtesy Texoma Medical Center, Texoma LIVING WELL Magazine

Not that long ago, robots existed only in the imaginations of movie makers and science fiction writers. In reality, minimally invasive surgery in the 21st Century has taken huge strides forward with the assistance of a robot. Developed by Intuitive Surgical, Inc., the da Vinci Si HD Surgical System incorporates advances in robotics and computer technology with the artful skills of physicians. And where laparoscopic and other minimally invasive techniques are appropriate for many simple procedures, robotic-assisted surgeries can handle complex situations.

Traditional surgery is performed with a large, open incision. Laparoscopy uses small incisions but is most often limited to simple procedures. With the da Vinci, surgeons can now offer minimally invasive surgery for many complex procedures.

How the da Vinci surgical robot works.

In the sterile environment of an operating suite, a surgeon sits at a da Vinci console and uses master controls to manipulate three robotic arms that hold miniature instruments and one to hold its camera. The robot recreates movements generated by the surgeon’s hands, wrists and fingers – localized to a small incision – into micro-movements. The da Vinci robot arms have more flexibility, better dexterity and a greater range of motion than the human hand, and the system eliminates normal hand tremors. This amazing technology replicates the experience of open surgery by preserving natural eye-hand-instrument alignment and surgical instrument control. The da Vinci is programmed to respond to maneuvers by the surgeon at the console. It obeys commands. The surgeon is in charge at all times.

At the console, a shielded screen gives surgeons a 3D hi-definition view of the operative field. And the system’s camera is capable of magnifying a focal area of the procedure up to 10 times.

All of these functions enhance abilities during minimally invasive surgeries. With the da Vinci, doctors can do more technically demanding operations with greater accuracy and precision.

da Vinci-assisted surgeries at Texoma Medical Center.

At Texoma Medical Center, the da Vinci Surgical System will be used for general surgery as well as multiple specialties such as gynecology and urology. A change for the better in gynecological surgery, the da Vinci can assist with many procedures including treatments for heavy uterine bleeding, gynecologic cancer, uterine fibroids and uterine prolapse. Urological surgeries using robot assistance can include procedures for conditions such as bladder cancer, colorectal cancer, kidney disorders, kidney cancer and prostate cancer. “We are so fortunate that this hospital is forward-thinking and brings this new, cutting-edge technology to the region. The da Vinci robot assists surgeons in performing more precise surgical procedures,” says Aaron Cernero, DO, a surgeon on staff at Texoma Medical Center and da Vinci trained.

Benefits for patients

“Texoma Medical Center is providing the technology that patients have clearly shown they prefer,” says J. Patrick McGrael, MD, FACS, Urology – da Vinci trained. “For example, the da Vinci robot allows a surgeon to perform a partial nephrectomy – removing just the cancerous portion instead of the whole kidney. This is much better for patients.” Patients also experience fewer complications, less blood loss, significantly less pain and discomfort, less risk of infection, shorter hospital stays and less scarring for better function.

Information is provided for educational purposes only, and is not intended to constitute medical advice or to be relied upon for the treatment of any particular condition. If you have concerns or questions about specific symptoms that may affect your health, please contact your healthcare provider. Physicians are on the medical staff of Texoma Medical Center, but, with limited exceptions, are independent practitioners who are not employees or agents of Texoma Medical Center. The hospital shall not be liable for actions or treatments provided by physicians.

Visit for more information. To find a physician who performs minimally invasive surgery with the da Vinci robot, referrals are free from Direct DoctorsSM Plus at 903-416-DOCS (3627).

Health Tip

Planned Procedures

If you need surgery and are in the planning stages, before you commit to the procedure, find out if you are a candidate for minimally invasive surgery. Then ask your physician if your surgery would benefit from da Vinci assistance.