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Latest generation technology means more options for robotic surgery

January 17, 2012
Robotic technology has been used by surgeons at St. Mary’s since 2007. Using this amazing tool, the surgeon sits at a video console directing the actions of four robotic arms. Now a new version of the robotic da Vinci® Surgical System gives St. Mary’s surgeons enhanced images, greater agility, and the opportunity to perform surgeries previously not done with the robotic tool. St. Mary’s new robotic system includes a special imaging technology helpful in cancer surgery, explains Stacy Roberts, RN, administrative director of Surgical Services. The imaging technology, called Firefly, distinguishes between normal tissue and cancer tissue allowing surgeons to identify and remove cancer cells. “Surgeons and surgical staff are now being trained and we’re evaluating the types of surgery best suited to the features of our new da Vinci,” says Roberts. “It may allow us to expand our robotic surgery services to colorectal, throat, and gynecologic cancers. We want to use the tools and methods that result in the shortest, safest surgery and fastest recovery for each patient,” Roberts says. “In some situations, that will be our original da Vinci, sometimes the new robot, and sometimes traditional surgery.”