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Mercy Expands Robotic Surgery Offerings With Upgraded Technology

7:39 PM · Jun 16, 2021

Many Douglas County patients requiring surgery are now benefiting from state-of-the-art robot-assisted technology now available for many procedures conducted at CHI Mercy Health. The county’s only community medical center recently upgraded the robotic technology it has been offering since 2018, increasing the benefits and expanding the number of procedures that can be performed. In addition, a growing number of Mercy surgeons are being trained on the technology, extending its benefits to significantly more patients. Among its many benefits, robotic technology enhances surgeons’ ability to see inside the body and provides better range of motion than the human hand. It also speeds patient recovery by replacing the large surgical incision required with traditional open surgery with a few small ones. The robot doesn’t act on its own; the surgeon directs all the robot’s hand movements using a state-of-the-art interface system. “It’s not a machine doing the surgery,” explains Roseburg surgeon Dr. Brent Soder. “The robot is doing what the surgeon tells it to do and mimicking the hand movements we do outside the body on the interface system.” Surgeon Dr. Mark Donovan compares robotic procedures to laparoscopic surgeries, in which the surgeon manipulates tools inserted into small incisions. But there are important differences. “Performing a lap surgery is like working with chopsticks,” Dr. Donovan notes. “We have to use straight, rigid instruments we can’t bend. The robot’s ‘hands’ have six degrees of movement so they bend and rotate far greater than the surgeon’s hands.” In addition, the robotic arms provide surgeons with high-definition, three-dimensional vision, which allows them to see a degree of depth not previously available. Compared with traditional open surgery, robotic surgery has shown to provide a wide range of benefits to patients. These include shorter hospitalizations, reduced pain and discomfort, smaller incisions, which leads to faster patient recovery times, minimized scarring and reduced infection risks and reduced blood loss. In addition to Drs. Donovan and Soder, Mercy surgeons trained to use the technology include general surgeon Dr. Jenny Nix and obstetrician/gynecologists Dr. Linda Sewell, Dr. Don Wonderly and Dr. Lori Carrillo. At Mercy, the robot is now assisting physicians in the following procedures: ● Gall bladder removal ● Prostate removal ● Kidney extractions and reconstructions ● Hysterectomies ● Hernia repair ● Cholecystectomy ● Colectomies CHI Mercy Health is pleased to be able to make the many benefits of this advanced surgical tool available to many Douglas County surgical patients. Via Mercy Medical Center Photo courtesy of Intuitive | Robotic-Assisted Surgery | Da Vinci Surgical System

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