By Jennika Baines
SUN Assoc. Editor
BINGHAMTON — Leonardo da Vinci may have conceived of the helicopter and the tank, but he never could have thought of this.
Surgeons at Lourdes Hospital have started using a state-of-the-art robotic machine called the da Vinci Surgical System.
The system allows surgeons to manipulate the movements of tiny grasping instruments through a dime-sized incision in the abdominal wall. The surgeon sits at a console a few feet away from the patient and views a three-dimensional image of the patient’s internal organs. The surgeon’s movements are mechanically replicated by tiny instruments with tips that are able to twist and rotate like the human wrist.
These wrist-like tips are an improvement on previous laparoscopic surgery, which relies on non-wristed instruments. “The movements are very, very precise,” said Dr. James Kondrup, chair of the robotics committee at Lourdes.
The system cannot perform any movement or maneuver without the surgeon’s direct input.
The new da Vinci system means less contact between patients and surgeons’ hands. This means smaller incisions, shorter recovery times, less pain, less blood loss and fewer infections.
Kondrup said it will also mean less fatigue for staff and surgeons during lengthy surgeries.
Kondrup said Lourdes will be able to use the da Vinci system to perform procedures like prostate surgery, hysterectomies and surgeries on fibroids, kidneys and heart valves.