Region's First Robotic-Assisted Surgery Performed at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital
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Region's First Robotic-Assisted Surgery Performed at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital 

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Norfolk, VA - September 26, 2002 - Today, for the first time, surgeons at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital are using a three-armed surgical robot, Zeus®, coupled with multiple robotic systems, to launch Sentara's integrated operating room of the future.

Sentara Norfolk General Hospital's "smart" OR is a marriage of robotics with some of the most advanced operating room equipment in the U.S.-surgical equipment so advanced it actually follows doctors' orders. This "smart" OR, based on a unique concept developed by Karl Storz Endoscopy, incorporates equipment from three national vendors: Karl Storz, Computer Motion and Steris.

Sentara Norfolk General Hospital's operating room of the future successfully integrates robotics with video, audio, and tele-mentoring equipment, allowing a remotely located physician to actively participate in the surgery.

Utilizing the touch screen or voice control, surgeons operating in the new suite have the ability to adjust various aspects of the OR equipment set-up and environment during surgery without disrupting the operative flow. A surgeon can control the light source, phone the lab, or videoconference with doctors down the hall or overseas and even engage in a tele-presence surgery-assist from a remote location.

Today, multiple voice-activated robotic systems-Zeus™, Aesop®, Socrates™, and Hermes®-will follow verbal commands given by urologist Dr. Michael Fabrizio. He will perform the area's first Zeus-assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy, a minimally invasive technique to treat prostate cancer that utilizes very tiny, multiple incisions, resulting in a faster recovery time and less pain for the patient.

During today's surgery, from a terminal adjacent to the patient Zeus will translate the surgeon's hand motions into precise microsurgical movements via robotic instruments. Aesop® will hold and position a pencil-wide video camera (laparoscope) inside the patient's body, with the image being projected on multiple video monitors throughout the OR. This will allow for better coordination of surgical instruments and tele-collaboration with surgical colleagues.

"We are thrilled about the increased precision that Zeus robotics brings to the surgical arena," says Rodney F. Hochman, M.D., chief medical officer of Sentara Healthcare. "It can improve patient outcomes, lead to new surgical options we've only dreamed about, and allow delivery of medical procedures to remote sites."

The use of robotics during surgery can improve patient outcomes by providing surgeons greater precision - eliminating hand tremors, increasing range of motion and enhancing visualization during surgery. Moreover, robotics can enhance a surgeon's ability to perform new, minimally invasive procedures that require a smaller incision, result in less tissue damage and blood loss and a shorter recovery time for the patient.

Sentara Norfolk General Hospital is one of only a handful of sites in the nation soon to be participating in a clinical trial that will be submitted to the FDA. FDA approval following the submission would clear U.S. surgeons to use the ZEUS System to perform laparoscopic radical prostatectomy and other urology procedures.

Sentara Norfolk General Hospital is a 569-bed tertiary care facility, known regionally and nationally for many of its specialized services and dedicated facilities including the Heart Pavilion, Sentara Cancer Institute, transplant programs, microsurgery, minimally invasive surgery techniques, neurosciences, and reconstructive surgery. The hospital is the area's only Level I Trauma Center and has been named the Quality Leader among Hampton Roads' hospitals for six straight years by the National Research Corporation, a recognized leader in health care performance measurement.

Karl Storz Endoscopy is a world leader in diagnostic and operative technology encompassing all endoscopic specialties. Karl Storz introduced the revolutionary, computer-based OR1™ , the integrated operating room of the future. OR1™ consists of various hardware and software components that allow for central control of medical and non-medical devices in the OR. For more information, call (800) 421-0837 or visit the company's Website. Computer Motion is a high-tech medical device company that develops, manufactures and markets proprietary computer-enhanced and robotic surgical systems including Zeus® Robotic Surgical System, Aesop® Robotic Endoscope Positioner, Hermes™ Control Center, and Socrates™ Telecollaboration System. The company's Web address is

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