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Riverside Enhances Robotic Surgery Program With New da Vinci Xi Surgical System

July 15, 2020

Riverside specialist operating the Da Vinci surgical machine

Located at Riverside Regional Medical Center in Newport News, health system leadership announced this week it has upgraded its robotic surgery program with the next generation da Vinci Xi Surgical System.

“Upgrading our robotic surgical system is a reaffirmation of the commitment that Riverside has to this community,” said Scott V. Burgess, M.D., of Riverside Urology Specialists. Dr. Burgess completed a fellowship in robotic and minimally-invasive surgery at the Tulane University of Louisiana Medical Center and is board-certified by the American Board of Urology.

This newest model in the da Vinci system allows surgeons to perform more common procedures than on the previous model introduced in 2014. With a new overhead arrangement, robotic arms are able to expand for better movement, reach and dexterity – offering surgeons better access to more parts of the body.

Image of a patient undergoing surgery with Da Vinci robotic machine

Dr. Burgess called the newest robotic surgical system so advanced “that all the future developments in the robotic world are going to be based off this platform.”

Robotic surgeries – minimally invasive surgeries aided by robotic technology – can help patients recover faster than other surgical methods, Dr. Burgess said.

“Today, using the newest da Vinci Robotic Surgical System, our highly trained surgeons can perform surgery using instruments that they precisely guide through one or a handful of small incisions,” said board-certified general surgeon Daniel Munn, M.D., FACS, chief of surgery and director of trauma and acute care surgery at Riverside Regional Medical Center.

The incisions are tiny – about a ½ inch, the size of a dime. The size of the incisions, along with the precise movements of the surgeon, result in less blood loss and less trauma to the surgical site.

Using a console to control the robotic arms that hold the surgical tools, surgeons can bend and turn the instruments of the da Vinci Xi Surgical System in more ways than human hands.

Specialist preparing Da Vinci robotic machine for surgery

Because the surgery can be performed in spaces where the human hand would not fit, Dr. Burgess said, this allows the surgeon more control, precision and flexibility.

A tiny 3D camera attached to one of the robotic arms also magnifies the surgical site about ten times larger than the human eye.

“We can see brighter, sharper images of the surgical field to more precisely accomplish the procedure,” Dr. Munn said. “Not only does the newer version give Riverside surgeons greater access and capabilities but it also opens up the opportunity to offer a number of procedures that the older version did not allow for.”

Among the most significant technology advancements in robotic surgery is its ability to offer surgeons more flexibility in terms of operating on parts of the body that were previously not an option.

Specialist explaining how the Da Vinci Robotic machine works

“We can now offer extensive colon resections, and many patients talk to us about robotic thoracic surgery, which we can now perform using this new technology,” said Brian Billings, M.D., service line chief and colorectal surgeon with Riverside Surgical Specialists. “This is a revolutionary advancement for the treatment of benign and malignant tumors of the colon, rectum, lungs, esophagus and chest wall.”

The da Vinci Robotic Surgery System has successfully been used in thousands of surgeries at Riverside since getting introduced to the health system some 15 years ago.

However, it is not for every patient, Dr. Billings said, which is “why we talk with each patient about what option is best for them.”

Surgeons at Riverside can use the system effectively to treat a number of conditions, including general surgery for the removal of a gallbladder or hernia surgery as well as oncologic procedures for gynecologic, thoracic, urologic and colorectal malignancies.

“Each surgeon, surgical nurse and clinical specialist is passionate about patient care,” Dr. Billings said, “and bringing the latest, most advanced technology to our patients.”

Published: July 15, 2020