College Station Hospital Unveils Robotic Surgery
By GREG OKUHARA
Eagle Staff Writer
Officials at College Station Medical Center unveiled a robotic device designed to assist surgeons with minimally invasive procedures.
The $1.5 million daVinci Surgical System allows doctors to use laparoscopic techniques for procedures that normally required major incisions by using articulated arms and a camera the surgeon controls from a separate console.
John Cochran, a urologist at College Station Medical Center, and Director of Robotic Services, said the daVinci robot is good news for patients.
Cochran has performed radical prostatectomy (for prostate cancer), and certain gynecological procedures are also being performed. He said the radical prostatectomy normally requires a three- to seven-day hospital stay and patients take six to eight weeks to fully recover.
With the daVinci System, the procedure requires only an overnight hospital stay, and recovery time is reduced to two to three weeks.
"Benefits as far as the patients are concerned have been well-documented," Cochran said. "There's a radical decrease in the amount of blood lost during surgery, better tumor control, quicker recovery times."
Hospital officials plan to use the daVinci Surgical System for hysterectomies, gastric bypass, and certain cardiac, and ear, nose and throat procedures.
Cochran said the robot is only a tool surgeons use and doesn't replace the doctor in the operating room.
"The robot has not any innate intelligence of its own," he said. "It only does what the surgeon tells it to do."
College Station Medical Center is one of 26 hospitals in Texas and 300 across the United States that have the daVinci Surgical System.