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VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System


Da Vinci Surgical Technology Now Available at Ann Arbor VA


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Da Vinci Surgical Robot

Surgeons at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System (VAAAHS) recently performed the healthcare system’s first surgery using Da Vinci Technology.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Surgeons at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System (VAAAHS) recently performed the healthcare system’s first robotic radical prostatectomy using Da Vinci Technology.

The Da Vinci robot uses the most advanced technology available, enabling our surgeons to perform some of the most complex operations through a few tiny incisions, while increasing surgeons' vision, precision, dexterity and control.

“This investment in advanced surgical technology demonstrates VA’s commitment to providing high quality, patient-centered specialty care in urology and other surgical specialties,” said Dr. Ted Skolarus, staff urologist at VAAAHS.

The Da Vinci robot consists of a console where the surgeon sits, an adjustable bed where the patient lays, four interactive robotic arms, and a high-definition 3D vision System.

Utilizing the robot to perform radical prostatectomies decreases Veterans’ pain postoperatively, decreases their length of stay in the facility, and reduces the time for urinary continence to return. 

 “Using this minimally-invasive technique, our urologists have already been performing some of our most common surgical procedures, such as prostate, partial kidney, and bladder removal, for several years at the University of Michigan,” said Dr. Jeffrey Montgomery, Chief, Urology Section at VAAAHS. “Our Veterans will now receive their surgical care from experienced leaders in our field.  Some of the other advantages our patients will experience include decreased blood loss, less post-operative pain, and shorter hospital stays.  Our surgeons will be able to take advantage of improved operative ergonomics, magnified vision, and more precise dissection.  Overall, this is a win-win situation for our Veterans and our surgeons.”

The Da Vinci adaptive, state-of-the-art technology allows the surgeon’s hand motions to be translated into precise movements spread to the four robotic arms working inside the patient’s body.

In the future, the robot will also be utilized for partial nephrectomies and cystectomies within Urology Service. General surgery will be the next service to utilize the robot’s capabilities.  Eventually, robotic use will reach into otolaryngological and thoracic procedures as well.