Botsford Hospital
28050 Grand River Ave.
Farmington Hills, MI 48336-5919
(248) 471-8000
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Fall 2010

Botsford HealthSource Magazine


A New Surgical Era

Robotic surgery is improving patient options and experiences

A new robotic "assistant" is transforming the way surgeons operate on patients at Botsford Hospital. The da Vinci® S HD Surgical System enhances surgeons' performance in the operating room, helping them operate with greater precision and dexterity. The system has changed the surgical field by making it easier for Botsford gynecologists and urologists to do complex procedures in minimally invasive ways, with additional specialists adopting the system soon.

"The da Vinci means Botsford can offer the most advanced surgical options to more patients," says Burton Brodsky, M.D., a board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist who also specializes in minimally invasive surgery and proctors nationally for robotics. "Surgeons can use the system to do routine and complex procedures safely and effectively through very small openings in the body. These minimally invasive procedures are less traumatic for patients than open surgery".


Surgeons Stay in Control
A robot in the operating room may seem like something you'd read about in a sci-fi novel. That's not the case. Surgeons at Botsford—who have undergone comprehensive training in robotic surgery—are always in control.

During a robotic-assisted procedure, surgeons make dime-sized incisions to accommodate the robot's "arms." They then sit at a console where they view three-dimensional, magnified images that provide an enhanced view of the surgical area and patient's anatomy. "The robot’s cutting-edge technology overcomes many limitations of standard laparoscopic surgery," says urologist Tina Schuster, D.O., who is fellowship-trained in minimally invasive and robotic urological surgery. "For example, this system helps us avoid vital nerves, blood vessels and other structures, and allows us to complete the fine suturing required during intricate procedures, which translates into better outcomes for patients.”

Surgeons use fingertip controls located on the console to direct robotic arms equipped with a camera and tiny instruments. The da Vinci translates the surgeons’ movements into precise, real-time movements inside the body. Surgeons can rotate the robotic wrists a full 360 degrees—a range of motion that’s hard to obtain with conventional laparoscopes or the human hand.

“With the robot, we have more control over our movements and instruments,” says Dr. Schuster. “This technology helps us reach difficult areas and perform very delicate maneuvers. It makes good surgeons even better.”

Solutions for Urinary and Prostate Problems
Urologists at Botsford use the da Vinci system during procedures to treat anatomical abnormalities and cancers, including prostate cancer. Doctors and patients increasingly rely on robotic technology for radical prostatectomies, the removal of the prostate in men with prostate cancer. Last year, 86 percent of men who had prostatectomies had robotic-assisted operations. In addition, men who had robotic procedures regained urinary and sexual function more quickly.

Other urological procedures that are robot-assisted include:

Surgical Preference for Women
Surgery using da Vinci is becoming the procedure of choice for women seeking treatment for gynecologic issues. This includes early-stage gynecologic cancer and common conditions like uterine fibroids, vaginal or uterine prolapse, endometriosis and heavy bleeding.

At Botsford, the following robotic gynecologic surgeries are available:

"The da Vinci lets us perform even complicated robotic procedures in a community hospital setting," Dr. Brodsky says. "With high-quality, minimally invasive surgery so close to home, women can find help for issues that are affecting their quality of life and start on the road to recovery sooner."