Metro Hospital to Offer Robotics Surgery

Tuesday, October 13th 2009, 5:15 pm
By: News 9

By Dave Jordan, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- A new piece of equipment is changing how surgeons operate on patients. More doctors are choosing to use Robotics surgery in their practice and a metro hospital has opened up a training center for the new technology.

This futuristic remote controlled surgical apparatus could soon become the standard of care in hospitals across the country. It's called Robotics and it's getting high marks from surgeons at OU Medical Center.

"It is amazing the difference between robotics and laparoscopy because the video camera is looking in the direction that you're looking, the magnification is phenomenal," Dr. Joan Walker, Robotics trained surgeon, said.

It's called the da Vinci SI and it's already being used in highly complex surgeries at many hospitals nationwide. Sitting at a remote console, Dr. Walker is able to perform surgery without directly touching the patient. A huge change from how she used to do surgical procedures.

"The anatomy's different, I'm re-learning how to do the surgeries I've been doing for more than 20 years," Dr. Walker said.

And so are other surgeons. OU Med has now opened a new training center specifically geared toward teaching surgeons how to use this machine. It's the first of its kind in the region.

Chris Carllson works for the company who makes the da Vinci. He says Oklahoma City is the perfect place for this center.

"The ability to get in and out of the city, the ability to bring surgeons from throughout the country, but also throughout the world," Carllson said. "We'll have people coming internationally to train at this center."

OU Med is anticipating a demand for this kind of training. It's already set aside 3,000 square feet of training space for future expansion.

Doctors say Robotics technology is widely used in a number of different procedures including colorectal, gynecological and heart surgeries.