When one of our patients is considering or about to undergo a surgical procedure at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, we are usually asked two questions: “How invasive or painful will it be, and how long will it take for me to recover?”
Both are understandable questions, since many types of surgeries can take an emotional and physical toll on someone. But thanks to advancements in technology, we’ve seen procedures that were historically much more invasive, with protracted periods of recovery, become less painful, with patients getting back on their feet much more quickly.
Specifically here at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, our doctors have seen more positive outcomes with the da Vinci Xi. A minimally invasive robotic surgery technology from Intuitive Surgical. But what does the da Vinci Xi robot mean for our patients?
One of the most important things to understand about this surgical robot is that is not used to perform surgeries on automation. Rather, it is a surgical robot that is controlled by a person. Though remote use is possible, typically a surgeon will be in the same room with the da Vinci Xi, as well as the patient, as the procedure is performed.
What Our Doctors Have to Say About the da Vinci Xi and Patient Care
What makes the da Vinci Xi so powerful is its precise use of much smaller surgical tools, and thus smaller incisions for the patient. It’s also a step above previous iterations of the surgical robot technology, says Medstar Washington Hospital Center colorectal surgeon Jennifer M. Ayscue, MD.
“The older robot was less user-friendly and very static, so as a colorectal surgeon, I was only able to operate on one part of the abdomen. This limited the type of colon resections we could do,” Dr. Ayscue says. “The Xi robot allows us to operate in several areas of the abdomen in one procedure, so we can do almost any colon surgery using this very advanced tool.”
Cheryl Iglesia, MD, director of the section of Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery (FPMRS) at MedStar Washington Hospital Center and a leader in her field, shares Dr. Ayscue’s sentiments.
“Having the ability to do a single-port surgery is the next frontier,” Dr. Iglesia points out. “You can perform surgery through just one incision at the belly button.”
An Investment in Our Patients and Their Recovery
Most of all, many of our patients recover more quickly, thanks to the da Vinci Xi empowering surgeons to perform more minimally invasive robotic surgeries for certain procedures.
Of this, Dr. Ayscue says, “My patients have minimal, if any, pain postoperatively. That means they are able to move on with the next part of their therapy sooner, or get back to their lives or work quicker!”
“While this new robot is very advanced technology, it is very expensive,” she continues. “However, MedStar [Washington Hospital Center] is committed to having the most advanced and best options for our patients, whatever the cost for the institution.”
As heard from Lambros Stamatakis, MD, on WTOP Radio: