BISMARCK — A new medical expert is in the operation room.
The Da Vinci XI robot assists doctors across the region during surgery.
The latest in robot surgery has arrived at local hospitals, giving doctors an advantage during procedures that they did not have before.
“We need the ability to look around and pan around your entire abdomen. This robot makes doing that much, much more accessible to us, and allows us to do cases we couldn’t do before,” said Dr. Joshua Knudson, general surgeon at Sanford Health.
Back in October, a 79-year-old woman was the first to try out the Da Vinci XI for an incisional hernia repair procedure.
“The patient had multiple prior open-cut surgeries and she had developed more than one hole in her abdominal wall from those surgeries. So the surgery we did was to repair those,” said Dr. Knudson.
“He said it would be less painful and less recovery time, and I thought well that’s good. You know, I’m good with that,” said Diane Gladowski, surgery patient.
The device allows doctors to perform minimally invasive surgery, cutting down the recovery time.
Gladowski only received three small incisions for her surgery and was sent home the same day.
“My recovery time was much, much shorter. Like within four, five days I had to keep reminding myself, “You just had surgery.” So it was awesome how quickly I got back on my feet,” said Gladowski.
The idea of having a robot perform the surgery raises some questions, but you’re not alone with the robot in the room — there is a surgeon conducting the procedure alongside the tool.
“We’re not connecting somebody to a robot, and then a robot does the surgery. The robot is a tool to allow us to do minimally invasive or laparoscopic surgery. It is the suturing device. The surgeon is in the room with you still. And he or she is the one operating on you. Not the robot,” said Dr. Knudson.
Other hospitals across the regions such as CHI. St. Alexius is now using the same type of robot as Sanford Health.
Gladowski was back to her daily exercise of dancing in less than a week.