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St. Mary now equipped with innovative robot-assisted surgical system

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da Vinci Xi expands hospital’s scope of minimally invasive procedures

APPLE VALLEY – Pushing the boundaries of innovation in minimally invasive surgeries, St. Mary Medical Center recently implemented the only da Vinci Xi Surgical System in the High Desert, a robot-assisted surgical system capable of multi-quadrant procedures in the areas of gynecology, urology, thoracic, cardiac and general surgery.

By enabling efficient access throughout the abdomen or chest, the da Vinci Xi System features wristed instruments, 3D-HD visualization, intuitive motion and an ergonomic design. Although this cutting-edge surgery tool is robot-assisted, it is completely controlled by the surgeon and translates hand movements into smaller, more precise movements of tiny instruments inside the patient’s body.

Its immersive 3D-HD vision system provides surgeons a highly magnified view, virtually extending their eyes and hands into the patient’s anatomy.

“This highly advanced surgical equipment has greatly expanded the number of minimally invasive surgeries we are able to perform, including colon, gynecological and urological procedures,” St. Mary Director of Peri-Operative Services Gordon Reid said. “It’s been a wonderful asset in allowing us to deliver the best overall surgical care possible.”

The da Vinci Xi has three components: surgeon console, patient-side cart, and vision cart. The surgeon console gives the surgeon a close-up 3D view of the patient’s anatomy and allows the surgeon to control the operating instruments. The patient side cart is positioned near the patient on the operating table and contains the instruments used during the operation, which responds in real-time to the movements of the surgeon. The vision cart makes the communication between the components of the system possible and supports the latest 3D high-definition vision system.

The da Vinci also is designed to integrate a range of current technologies, as well as future innovations in areas such as imaging, advanced instruments and anatomical access.

“I’ve heard from a number of surgeons who are excited about the greater flexibility, visibility and precision the da Vinci Xi has given them,” Reid said.

This system is a tremendous achievement in the advancement of minimally invasive surgeries.

Its key features include: 

  • An overhead instrument arm structure designed to facilitate anatomical access from virtually any position.
  • A new endoscope digital architecture that creates a simpler, more compact design with improved vision definition and clarity.
  • An ability to attach the endoscope to any arm, providing flexibility for visualizing the surgical site.
  • Smaller, thinner arms with newly designed joints that offer a greater range of motion.
  • Longer instrument shafts designed to give surgeons greater operative reach.

“Surgery is never fun but this surgical system has helped reduce the recovery time for many different procedures we perform,” St. Mary Chief Executive Randall Castillo said. “The da Vinci Xi has vastly improved our ability to execute minimally invasive surgeries.”

St. Mary recently resumed essential and elective surgeries after Gov. Gavin Newsom lifted restrictions at hospitals across the state allowing these procedures to continue. While COVID-19 cases still persist in the community, the Apple Valley hospital has diligently implemented a multi-layered screening process, as well as many other precautions to ensure the safety of patients, staff and the community.

These measures include but are not limited to providing a COVID-19 test to all surgical patients and postponing the procedure if the test is positive, keeping all COVID-19 patients in an isolated area of the hospital in negative-pressure airflow rooms, and implementing a restricted visitor policy.

Additionally, a task force composed of physician and clinical leaders, executives, and infection prevention staff meet daily at St. Mary to examine and review all safety and infection prevention strategies.

“We have worked tirelessly to provide safety and peace of mind to our patients,” Castillo said. “Many people unfortunately have delayed the care they need because of this pandemic, but we want everyone to know that it is unnecessary to live in pain or discomfort from issues that can be surgically treated.

“We’re here to take care of the community and ease their way, no matter the circumstances.”

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