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Texas Health Dallas Launches New Generation of Robotic Surgery
08/24/2009

DALLAS — Surgeons on the medical staff at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas are the first in North Texas to begin using the next generation of robotic-assisted surgery systems.

da Vinci Si
The $1.78 million da Vinci Si system was entirely underwritten by charitable gifts made to Texas Health Presbyterian Foundation.
Click photo to download hi-res image

From a remote command center just a few feet from the patient, surgeons direct the moves of the robotic system to navigate deep inside the body. Called the da Vinci Si, the system boasts three-dimensional, high-definition images, which provide superior visual clarity of target tissue and surrounding organs — with up to 10 times magnification.

“The system allows for precise movements with instruments deep within the pelvis,” said Dr. Pat Fulgham, medical director of robotics and surgical director of oncology at Texas Health Dallas. “The system allows a fresh anatomic approach to the treatment of some cancers.”

The da Vinci Si also features an updated and simplified user interface that enhances operating room efficiency.

The high-definition viewing system and robotic arm will assist surgeons in various specialties, including oncology, women’s services, cardiovascular, colorectal, thoracic, urological and general surgery, Fulgham said.

The remote instrumentation command center provides dexterity and range of motion greater than even the human hand. Other technologies help replicate the experience of open surgery by preserving natural eye-hand-instrument alignment and instrument control.

Two separate HD optical channels are used to merge images for advanced depth perception.

Dr. Pat Fulgham
Dr. Pat Fulgham

“The technology is really advanced and sounds complicated,” Fulgham said, “but it’s a highly safe, effective way to perform surgery.”

Minimally invasive surgery allows physicians to perform many kinds of major surgery with less patient trauma and pain, minimal scarring, faster recovery and shorter hospital stays. Surgeries are performed through small incisions, which replace the large incisions needed for conventional open surgeries.

The use of robotics in recent years has further advanced minimally invasive techniques, said Dr. Jonathan Oh, a gynecological cancer surgeon on the medical staff at Texas Health Dallas.

“Robotically-assisted minimally-invasive surgery represents a third generation of surgery,” he said. “This robotic technology pushes surgery to a new frontier, with precision and versatility with three-dimensional views of the operative site.”

New ergonomic settings on the surgeon console provide better comfort for the surgeon during procedures, Oh added. Together, these technological advancements provide surgeons using da Vinci Si with the precision, dexterity and control needed for complex surgical procedures.

“But the important thing about this technology is that it allows for an entire population of patients to have minimally invasive surgery when, in the past, they would have had to undergo a major, open procedure,” Oh said.

The purchase of the $1.78 million da Vinci Si system was entirely underwritten by charitable gifts made to Texas Health Presbyterian Foundation.

More than two dozen physicians on the medical staff of Texas Health Dallas will utilize the technology.

“Having access to the technology is in itself a great thing for the clinicians and our patients,” Fulgham added. “But it also attracts highly skilled and innovative surgeons, which even further advances the care we provide to our patients.”

About Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas
Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas is an 866-bed acute care hospital and recognized clinical program leader, having provided compassionate care to the residents of Dallas and surrounding communities since 1966. U.S. News and World Report has ranked Texas Health Dallas among the nation’s best hospitals in digestive disorders, orthopedics, and neurology and neurosurgery. An affiliate of the faith-based, nonprofit Texas Health Resources system, Texas Health Dallas has approximately 4,000 employees and an active medical staff of more than 1,000 physicians. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org/Dallas.

About Texas Health Presbyterian Foundation
Through philanthropy, Texas Health Presbyterian Foundation provides support to six Texas Health Presbyterian hospitals in Allen, Dallas, Denton, Kaufman, Plano and Winnsboro. Established in 1986, Texas Health Presbyterian Foundation plays a critical role in continuing the mission of the Texas Health Presbyterian hospitals to improve the health of the communities served. The foundation strives to enhance the delivery of quality patient care by joining with committed donors to sustain the long-term fiscal viability of the hospitals. Through the efforts of the foundation, the strong tradition of community support through philanthropy enables the Texas Health Presbyterian hospitals to forge ahead in medical research and education, technology and the provision of quality patient care. For more information, visit TexasHealth.org/PresbyFoundation.

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