SAN ANTONIO – St. Luke's Baptist Hospital has completed its 10,000th robotic surgery.
Robotic surgeon Dr. John Metersky said robots allow them to perform many types of complex procedures with more precision and control than is possible with conventional techniques.
"The da Vinci is a telepresence robot, very much like virtual reality," Metersky said. "It takes minimally invasive surgery, laparoscopy, when we are operating in the abdomen. It allows us to do much more complex operations with greater skill, less blood loss."
Surgeons operate the robot from a console using their hands and feet to manipulate the robot arms that are positioned over the patient on the operating table.
"For procedures, let's say I remove part of the colon, part of the intestine. You put it back together. The technology associated with the robot allows us to have fewer complications," Metersky said. "(It's a) tremendous advantage for the patient."
The surgeon uses the robot to make small incisions.
Some of procedures doctors use the robot for include colorectal and general surgery, hernia repairs, lower anterior resection of the colon, appendectomy and cholecystectomy.