Since the da Vinci surgical system debuted nearly 20 years ago, it has become one of the most sought-after tools for hospitals and their surgical programs.
As the technology driving the surgical robot has advanced, so have its applications. With an arsenal of available tools, it can be used in a wide variety of procedures including colorectal, urologic, gynecological, and general surgeries. Each incision is only millimeters wide, making it much less invasive than traditional surgery.
However, many patients are little afraid to go under the knife when it's a robot doing the cutting.
"They think it's like Rosie from the Jetsons and they think it's just going to move around on its own and that's not actually how it goes," said surgical technologist Brittany Bourgeois.
That’s why Baton Rouge General Hospital staged a da Vinci demo. Patients and staff could get in the driver’s seat and see exactly how the robot operates, from how the surgeon guides each precise movement with tools as articulate as your own wrist to how the surgical tech positions the arms.
It takes extensive training and practice to use this advanced surgical tool, but the benefits are worth it.
"It's so minimally invasive that there’s less surgical time. There's less bleeding; there's less of a hospital stay so the patients are recovering faster. There's less pain and that's the way we want it," Bourgeois added.
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