Kansas City VA Medical Center (KCVA) recently began performing surgeries with the da Vinci robotic assisted surgical system. The robotic-aided da Vinci system, a product of Intuitive Surgical, provides KCVA surgeons the flexibility to perform minimally invasive surgeries. The results are faster recovery times and less pain during recovery.

The system is ideal when performing Urology, Cardiac, Gynecology, Thoracic, and Colorectal surgeries.

Robot’s “fingers” mimic surgeon’s hands’ precise movements

The term “robot” might be slightly misleading. A robot is not performing the surgery. KCVA surgeons perform the surgery utilizing the da Vinci system and controlling surgical instruments that they guide via the unit’s control console. The robot’s “fingers” mimic all the surgeon’s hands’ precise movements.

The surgeon has total control of the instruments performing the surgery at the unit’s console. Small surgical instruments follow the surgeon’s hand’s exact actions while they watch the movements on magnified, high-definition screens. The surgical instruments facilitate a minimally invasive procedure with a few small incisions in many cases.

Surgeons at consoles control surgical instruments.

Pictured above, the surgical team prepares the da Vinci for robotic-assisted minimally invasive surgery.

System consists of three main parts

The system consists of three main parts: Surgical Console, Patient Cart, and Vision Cart. The surgeon is positioned at the surgical cart controlling the surgical instruments while viewing the anatomy in high definition on the screen. Meanwhile, the patient cart keeps the hi-definition camera in position while holding and manipulating the tiny surgical instruments the surgeon controls on the surgical console.

The vision cart makes all the functionality possible by supporting the communications between the da Vinci systems and supporting the high-definition vision system.

“The da Vinci robot gives us more flexibility in how we operate during laparoscopic, minimally invasive surgeries,” said Dr. Matthew Sappington, KCVA general and bariatric surgeon. “The robot provides much more functionality to our hands in the very confined spaces where the instruments operate.

“One of the things the da Vinci robot adds to our services is the ability to do more operations in minimally invasive fashion versus an open operation. It also allows us to complete more complex operations that would be difficult to do laparoscopically.”

Completing complex procedures more efficiently

Our teams will be able to help more Veterans because we can schedule more operations thanks to the efficiencies gained with the addition of this new surgical system.

“The da Vinci allows our surgeons to complete routine and complex laparoscopic procedures more efficiently, thus reducing total operation durations, bleeding during procedures and pain and recovery times after surgery,” said Dr. Abdul Haleem, KCVA chief of surgery.

Millions of surgeries worldwide have been performed utilizing the robotic-assisted surgical system. This robotic system is just one of the latest additions to the advanced tools and equipment our doctors and nurses have at their fingertips when providing outstanding inpatient and outpatient care to Veterans in the heartland.

Veteran patients are our top priority. Getting them back to their families and doing what matters most to them is essential. The da Vinci will significantly aid in that goal.

Marine Corps Veteran Vic Ziliani is a marketing specialist for the Kansas City VA Medical Center.

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Published on Feb. 11, 2021

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One Comment

  1. Denise Phillips February 12, 2021 at 5:37 am

    I have been treated at several different VA across the United States, however, the treatment I have received from the Greenville VA in South Carolina has been absolutely horrible.

    Even the patient advocate was not helpful in any way.

    I’m saddened and disappointed. No Veteran or human deserves this kind of treatment.

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