Instruments with great dexterity mimic surgeons' hands at workstation monitor in operating room.
When Thomas Ledwith was told he needed to have surgery to repair a hernia, the surgeon asked him if it would be OK to use a relatively new device: the da Vinci Xi. It’s the latest in robotic surgery, the surgeon said.
Ledwith, a 71-year-old Flagler Beach resident, agreed.
“If it’s easier for the surgeon, then it’s easier for the patient,” he reasoned.
After the surgery in February, he returned to AdventHealth Palm Coast on March 5 and got a thumbs up from the surgeon, Dr. Farhaad Golkar, who spent time with the Palm Coast Observer to explain how the technology works.
Essentially, he said, robotic surgery is like seeing in 3D, compared with laparoscopic surgery, which is like seeing in 2D.
"The surgeon is completely in control of the operation," Golkar said. "It's not like some artificial intelligence is doing it. The robot doesn’t make a single movement that the surgeon doesn’t also make. It mimics it."
Da Vinci Xi
AdventHealth Palm Coast has had robotic surgery for years, but it only recently acquired the latest model, the da Vinci Xi. It’s an upgrade over the Si model, allowing the surgeon to work through four different incision ports at once. That means colon cancer, for example, can be addressed robotically, rather than through open surgery.
As the technology continues to improve, Golkar sees more and more benefits to robotic surgery.
“I think all surgeries will eventually be done like this,” he said, “even the ones that we do open now. … There’s less pain, faster recovery.”
Lung surgery is already being done robotically, he said, and heart surgery could happen in the future, if it’s not already being tried.