UIHC shows off new robotic surgery training lab - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UIHC shows off new robotic surgery training lab

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IOWA CITY (KWWL)-- The University of Iowa showed off a new robotic surgery training lab on Wednesday and one doctor there said it's the first of its kind in the nation. It's a dedicated lab space, built for the sole purpose of letting doctors and medical students get acquainted with advanced surgery robots before operating on live patients.

Robotic surgeries have become increasingly common in operating rooms across the nation, and the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics is no exception.

"We are the leaders right now in the state of Iowa, in trying to establish some sort of a standardized training model for residents and fellows to learn robotic surgery," said Dr. David Bender, Director of Robotic Surgery.

Dr. Bender said surgical robots let surgeons perform minimally-invasive procedures that allow for faster patient recovery; it's one major reason why the practice is becoming more popular. So, there's a greater need for training labs like this one.

"They're first doing the simple techniques, they then do some of the more complex maneuvers in the dry lab, we then move them into a cadaver situation, where they're working with human tissue," Bender explained. "Then they are able to identify the correct anatomy, and then from there, once they demonstrate competency in all of those skills, we can move them into the operating theater where they're actually working with a live patient."

Right now, the robotic training room is only set up for dry runs with a training dummy, but very soon, it could be set up to operate on cadavers. Dr. Javier Campos, Executive Medical Director of Operating Rooms, told us the price tag for a training room is high so one is enough, at least for now.

"If we increase with the practice of the residents and fellows, I wouldn't be surprised in the future that we might expand this to more units for training purposes," said Dr. Campos.

Online Reporter - Brady Smith

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