The future of medicine has arrived at Sentara. Robotic surgery performed by surgeons sitting across the operating room from the patient is now possible with the new four-armed da Vinci robot; the most technologically advanced surgical robotic system in the world. The extraordinary precision of da Vinci’s robotic arms allow it to perform intricate surgical moves not even possible by a surgeon’s own hands.
This new robotic-assisted surgery system is now being used in radical prostatectomy, or prostate removal surgery, at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. This latest surgical technology, only available in the region at Sentara, is offering patients dramatically better outcomes and recovery.
"Robotic-assisted surgery is revolutionizing the way prostate surgery is performed, " says Michael Fabrizio, M.D., Sentara urologist. "The benefit to the patient is that robotic-assisted surgery reduces bleeding, requires minimal incisions, and helps the patient recover much faster."
The da Vinci robot improves patient’s outcomes and provides surgeons greater precision — eliminating hand tremors, increasing range of motion and enhancing visualization during surgery. This robotic system allows a surgeon's hand movements to be translated into precise movements of micro-instruments within the operative site.
"We are thrilled about the increased precision that da Vinci robotics brings to the surgical arena," says Rod Hochman, M.D., Executive Vice President for Sentara Healthcare. "It can improve patient outcomes and lead to new surgical options we’ve only dreamed about."
Da Vinci offers incredible surgical moves
The surgeon sits at a consol and directs the arms with special controls. The robots arms are literally an extension of the doctors and are able to make incisions and other surgical moves that at times are at angles not possible by a human hand. Using a binocular camera, the surgeon can manipulate the instruments with a finer degree of accuracy than his own fingers would allow. The robot's "wrists" move the tools, bending back and forth, side to side, and rotating in a full circle, allowing greater range of motion than humanly possible.
da Vinci also gives the surgeon a magnified, three-dimensional view that allows him to perform more precise surgery in complex procedures through small surgical incisions. The endoscope provides an improved view of the surgical site that is 12 times as great, with 360-degree range of vision, the ability to zoom in and out, plus high-definition, full-color, 3-D images.
Prostrate Disease and Treatment
Approximately 16% of American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be more than 230,000 new cases of prostate cancer in the United States this year. The most common treatments for prostate cancer are surgery and radiation. Traditional open radical prostatectomies generally require 8-10 inch incisions and can result in substantial blood loss, a lengthy and uncomfortable recovery, and the risk of impotence and incontinence.
Better Patient Outcomes
The smaller incisions and greater precision with the minimally invasive procedures possible with the da Vinci Surgical System reduces the risk of complications. For prostatectomy patients, da Vinci’s greater surgical precision may lead to a reduced rate of complications like; impotence and incontinence; a shorter hospital stay; less pain and scarring; less risk of infection and tissue damage; less blood loss and transfusions; a faster recovery, and a quicker return to normal activities.