Robot-Assisted Surgery May be Headed to East Texas - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

10/30/06 - Lufkin

Robot-Assisted Surgery May be Headed to East Texas

The da Vinci Surgical System is tested at Memorial Health System in Lufkin. (KTRE Photo / Jason Youngblood) The da Vinci Surgical System is tested at Memorial Health System in Lufkin. (KTRE Photo / Jason Youngblood)

by Ramonica R. Jones

A group of Memorial hospital physicians took a $1.5 million test drive Monday in Lufkin. It wasn't in a car, it was with the da Vinci Surgical System.

The surgical robot is already being used at more than 500 locations across the country. Now, the device may be coming to Lufkin.

Physicians at Memorial tested the robot to learn more about its capabilities. The robotic technology offers more surgical precision and comfort for doctors during certain procedures. Patients will also see the benefits of the device.

Marilyn Phillips, Director of Surgical Services at Memorial, said, "It improves the outcome. It will decrease the length of stay of the patients who have not had laparoscopic procedures. If a patient came in for an open procedure, they may be in the hospital for five to seven days. This would decrease their length of stay possibly to three days."  

If Memorial hospital gets the da Vinci Surgical System, it would take up to six months before the robot assists with its first surgery.

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