St. Luke's welcomes new surgery robot - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

St. Luke's welcomes new surgery robot

CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) - "We're very excited to have this here," said St. Luke's Robotics Coordinator Kiley Stineman in an interview Tuesday. She's getting to know the newest member of her team, the Da Vinci S.i.

Its dual control consoles are a step up from the older robot's single console, and will allow two doctors to use it at once.

"For the patients, it's pretty much bloodless surgery," Stineman explained.

Stineman says robots like this allow for minimally-invasive gynecological and urological procedures, and shorter recovery times for patients. Nobody knows that better than St. Luke's' own Director of Surgery Operations Janna Petersen, who had a robot-assisted hysterectomy two years ago.

"Had I had it the old-fashioned way, I would have been in the hospital longer, and I would have been off work longer," Peterson told us.

"I actually had my surgery in the morning, and I went home by 6 o'clock at night."

Dr. Jerry Rozeboom, an obstetrician and gynecologist, says the robot allows for delicate movements, and provides a better view of what he's working on.

"It's really like having my eyes in your pelvis without having my head there, which is advantageous for both of us," Dr. Rozeboom said.

The control consoles on the Da Vinci S.i. have large, high definition view screens, which project a 3-D image of organs and tissue. Its arms are patterned after the human wrist, so it offers a full range of motion. The system is intuitive enough for a bystander to pick up the controls and manipulate tiny objects with ease, but Dr. Rozeboom says training physicians in its use is still essential.

"We do animal training to start with, and then we usually go to a site that's doing robotic surgery to visit them and see how they are doing it."

Rozeboom says St. Luke's is one of only 15 hospitals in the country that teaches robotic surgery, but it's catching on.

"As more surgeons get exposed to the technology and elegance and the advantages of it, I see it becoming more common."

Online Reporter - Brady Smith

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