Lufkin robot technology putting surgeons on the cutting edge

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Robot technology is helping the surgeons at Woodland Heights Medical Center expand the boundaries of minimally invasive surgery.

The "Davinci S.I." robot surgical system was introduced to the hospital in January.

Since that time, it's performed 162 procedures.  

"It's allowing us to do more complex operations," said General Surgeon Greg DeArmound.

During the procedure, a surgeon sits in a console, watching the patient and controlling the robot arms with hand and finger movement.

"It allows you to control both arms of the robot," DeArmound said. "It also gives you a viewpoint. You look through the camera that has been introduced into the abdomen. It gives you a three-dimensional image."

Surgeons go through intensive training simulations before operating on patients.

"With the robotic company they work with a proctor and then they come here and their proctored as well," said Susan Roig, the director of surgical services.

Use of the technology allows surgeons to make smaller incisions during operations.

For patients, that means reduced bleeding, a shorter hospital stay and minimal scaring.

Dearmound has performed 60-plus surgeries on the DaVinci robot. He says the technology offers a wider range of motion, allowing more precise operations..

"It takes out some of the fine motor tremors that occur naturally in everybody's hands," DeArmound said.

While Da Vinci enhances the procedure for each surgeon, Woodland Heights hopes it will improve the overall patient experience.

The technology has been used for hysterectomies, gallbladder and prostate surgery.

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