Updated: Monday, 05 Oct 2009, 6:28 PM CDT
Published : Monday, 05 Oct 2009, 6:28 PM CDT
MOBILE, Ala. - It looks something like a high-tech video game, but with the help of doctors, the da Vinci Robot has performed 999 surgeries in the past three years.
Tuesday, Dr. Michael Finan, will perform Mobile Infirmary's 1,000th surgery using the surgical system.
It's the latest in modern-day surgery. By using the da Vinci Robot instead of traditional laparoscopic surgery, the patient will spend less time in the hospital.
"Now we can offer them almost out-patient procedures where they come in, they have the surgery, then they go home the next morning in most cases," Said Dr. Finan.
But that's just part of the good news for patients.
"We can see very clearly, almost on a microscopic level, and we can do a very detailed and fine dissection in cases where we might have normally had to open them. Less blood loss and shorter hospital stay, and quicker recovery," said Dr. Finan.
The da Vinci Robot can work with several dozen different surgical instruments, depending on the type of surgery. Procedures include surgeries for prostate cancer, gynecological cancer, and hysterectomies.
The instruments move just like your own wrists.
"With laparoscopic surgery, the tips of the instruments are rigid so they really can only go in two different directions," said Dr. Finan.
It may be a robot, but the machine can't work without a surgeon controlling its every move.
"With just two hands, we can control three operative arms plus the camera arm and we toggle between those with our feet. So we actually operate with sock feet so we can feel the pedals, so we can't wear socks with holes in them," said Dr. Finan.
They might wear only scrubs and socks in the operating room, but doctors at Mobile Infirmary Medical Center, along with the help of the da Vinci Robot, are helping patients feel better one surgery at a time.
If you or your child is in middle school and would like to help name Mobile Infirmary's two da Vinci Robots, click here.
For contest forms, click here.