United Hospital Center Introduces New Surgical Tool - WBOY - Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

United Hospital Center Introduces New Surgical Tool

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The fields of medicine and technology are constantly evolving.

Now they are evolving together. The United Hospital Center recently introduced the da Vinci SI. In basic terms, a robot that allows surgeons to work more accurately.

"The surgeon controls the robot. So you can look through here and it gives you a 3D High Definition image of what's going on inside the patient," said Dr. Lucas Wiegand.

The system allows the surgeon not only to see more detailed images of the patient, but also the surgeon to perform surgery more precisely.

"These have the same motion replicated as the wrist technology. So you can rotate. Pinching, pinches the instrument. Rotating, rotates the instrument. And you can move forward, back, left right," Wiegand said.

Weigand said the robots replicate his movements on a much smaller level. For example, when he moves his hands an inch, the robot moves its hands about one fifth of an inch.

Wiegand said that while most surgeons have steady hands anyway, the machine perfects their art even further.

"When you're using very long, thin instruments very small hand tremors are magnified at the end of that instrument. So this reduces that," Wiegand said.

The machine allows surgeons to perform a wide variety of procedures.

"Three arms that have instruments. These are used during the course of the case, for dissection and reconstruction as well as retraction," Wiegand said.

While the robotic elements make surgery much less invasive and much less painful, not everyone is sold on it right away.

"I have to reassure them that while I'm not directly holding the instruments, I am in control of the instruments. There is nothing autonomous. There is nothing that the robot is doing on its own," Wiegand said.

Wiegand said that another misconception is the invincibility of the machine.

"They think because it is high technology and advanced that it is no chance of complications. But it is still surgery. I have to reassure them we do all in our power to avoid complications, but it is still surgery they are having done and we have to discuss those things," Wiegand said.

The da Vinci SI offers more benefits than just accuracy. It is less invasive which translates into shorter hospital stays and less painful recoveries.

The system also allows the surgeon to have more resources at hand. The surgeon can pull up a patients MRI or Ultrasound at any given moment.

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