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GRMC welcomes robot into the operating suite

February 12, 2013
From: Grinnell Regional Medical Canter , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Grinnell Regional Medical Center now has the da Vinci Surgical System, one of the most advanced robotic technologies available. The system can be used for a range of minimally invasive procedures in gynecology, urology, thoracic, and general surgery.

"The da Vinci system provides surgeons with greater precision, control, and access to hard-to-reach areas," says David Coster, MD, a surgeon with Surgical Associates of Grinnell and a member of the GRMC medical staff. "With it, we are able to perform extremely complex operations through just a few small incisions instead of traditional open surgery."

For surgeons, da Vinci's benefits include better vision, more precision, and more control due to the system's magnification and 3D capabilities. Attractions for patients may include quicker recovery, reduced post-operative pain, shorter hospital stay, and reduced blood loss.

Article Photos

With the da Vinci Surgical System are back row (L to R): Aaron Smith, DO, Nicholas Kuiper, DO, Mathew Severidt, DO, and David Coster, MD.Seatedin front: Seanna Thompson, MD, FACOG.

-Photo provided

The surgeon operates while seated at the da Vinci console, viewing a highly magnified 3D image of the body's interior. To operate, the surgeon uses controls that work like pincers. As the surgeon works the controls, da Vinci reacts to the surgeon's input in real time, translating his or her hand, wrist, and finger movements into precise movements. The system cannot be programmed and it cannot make decisions on its own.

The da Vinci requires that every surgical maneuver be performed with direct input from the surgeon.

"Now is the right time for GRMC to embrace robotic surgery. Three of our surgeons are already trained on this system," says Doris Rindels, RN, assistant vice-president at GRMC. "Robotic surgeries can start right away at the medical center. As a result, GRMC will be able to provide a wider array of surgeries to meet the needs of our patients. With more options for surgeries at GRMC, this will strengthen the medical center's capacity to serve more people. And with only 17 other hospitals in Iowa-and only one other rural hospital-offering this type of surgery, it makes GRMC a leader in this field, especially in its use for general surgery."

The da Vinci system can be used to treat a range of conditions, including kidney disorders, prostate cancer, obesity, gynecological procedures, and colorectal cancer, " says Nicholas Kuiper, DO, a surgeon with Surgical Associates of Grinnell and a member of the GRMC medical staff.

"The biggest benefits of da Vinci are that it will allow surgeons to perform very complex surgeries and at the same time help our patients get back to their lives faster," Kuiper says.

In addition to Coster and Kuiper, surgeons trained or being trained on the da Vinci at GRMC include Seanna Thompson, MD, FACOG, of Grinnell Regional Women's Health Clinic; and Mathew Severidt, DO, and Aaron Smith, DO, both of Surgical Associates.

"We have an incredibly talented group of surgeons and anesthesia providers practicing at GRMC," says Bill Menner, chair of the GRMC board of directors. "They are supported by a superb team in the OR. Highly skilled surgeons combined with this state-of-the-art technology will be wonderful for our patients, especially those in need of complex procedures."



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