Franciscan Health: Less Pain and Shorter Stays – Close To Home

Franciscan-Less-Pain-Shorter-Stays-Close-to-HomePatients at Franciscan Health Crown Point soon will have another reason not to travel to big city hospitals for the latest surgical advancements that offer smaller incisions, less pain, faster recoveries and shorter hospital stays, even for complicated procedures.

The very latest da Vinci Xi Surgical System, viewed as a natural extension of a physician’s eyes and hands, is expected to be operational soon at Franciscan Health Crown Point and later in Franciscan Health hospitals at Michigan City and Dyer.

According to a clinical representative of Intuitive Surgical Inc., which manufactures the system, “This offers a platform where surgeons can provide minimally invasive surgery on different parts of the body. They can, through a few small incisions, access a greater size or area of the anatomy, resulting in faster recovery and shorter length of stays."

Among its components, the Xi offers magnified 3D, HD vision for surgeons, as well as wristed instruments that bend and rotate with a steady, natural motion, far beyond the capability of the human hand; as well as an ergonomically designed surgeon console, which allows the physician to feel comfortable and natural. It also provides accessibility from virtually any position, allowing for four-quadrant access and laser-precision targeting of surgical areas.

Hospital staff surgeon Eric Woo, DO, said the system “will allow for more complex kinds of cases, such as in the colorectal realm. It can work in multiple quadrants in the abdomen where we have to work both high and low. We can do more minimally invasive procedures quicker, with smaller incisions and get patients out of the hospital faster with less pain,” he said.

Fellow surgeon Mark Mueller, MD, agreed. “It gives the surgeon more autonomy and control; we won’t have to rely on assistance to manipulate the stapler (used to close the skin after surgery) or other instruments. That is a game-changer. It allows us to change the angle of the camera to facilitate seeing the entire abdomen, as opposed to one, small quadrant. It has all the advantages of open surgery without having to make large incisions,” he said.

Mueller added the new device will allow surgeries to get under way quicker and that “we will be able to access two or three areas at once without having to undock the system and start over. All in all, it is a major step in the advancement of robotics.”

Added Barbara Anderson, hospital president and chief executive officer, “This new advancement in technology allows us to offer patients university-type care with our highly skilled and local surgeons. There is no need for patients to have to travel outside of the area – we offer them the best and latest services, close to home.”