Silverdale hospital welcomes $1.7M robot surgeon

 - Wesley Remmer/staff photo Harrison Medical Center staff recently purchased a da Vinci Surgical System that will begin servicing patients around the end of July.
— image credit: Wesley Remmer/staff photo Harrison Medical Center staff recently purchased a da Vinci Surgical System that will begin servicing patients around the end of July.

No, it’s not Leonardo, but the “da Vinci Surgical System” is still pretty impressive. It’s breaking ground in the medical field and one arrived to Harrison Medical Center’s Silverdale campus Thursday morning.

Named after the man who invented the robot, the da Vinci is powered by state-of-the-art robotic technology and allows surgeons to operate with dexterity, precision and control not capable by the human hand.

The robot features an ergonomically designed console, four interactive robotic arms, high-resolution vision system and a range of propriety instruments called EndoWrist.

Those gadgets make for more efficient surgeries, virtually extending the surgeon’s eyes and hands.

“A popular misconception is that the robot performs the surgery,” Harrison Medical Center Spokeswoman Patti Hart said. “In reality, the robot merely carries out the commands of the surgeon. The robot replicates the movement of the surgeon’s hands with the tips of micro-instruments.”

Harrison Medical Center is the first hospital in Kitsap County to own a da Vinci, providing area patients with surgery options previously not available. It is expected to begin operating on patients by the end of July.

“Offering this state-of-the-art minimally invasive surgery tool was the next logical step for Harrison’s overall surgical services,” Hart said. “One that complements the exceptional expertise and skills of our surgeons.”

The $1.7 million robot, one of 650 in the United States and 850 worldwide, enables surgeons to complete operations through 1-2 centimeter incisions, reducing the amount of blood flow during surgery and the size of the scar after surgery.

“We are now able to provide the most advanced surgical system available, with great benefit for our patients, supporting our mission of making a positive difference in their lives through exceptional medical care,” Hart said. “Patients around the county no longer will have to travel to receive this most advanced care.”

The da Vinci will be used for a range of general operation procedures.

“The da Vinci is most widely used for urological, gynecological, hysterectomies and general surgery procedures,” Hart said.

She said Harrison staff is working to fully install and calibrate the robot while surgeons and staff receive training on how it works.

“For the surgeon, the robot allows greater surgical precision, increased range of motion, enhanced visualization and improved access,” Hart said. “Benefits to the patients include less pain, less blood loss, less risk of infection, shorter hospital stays and faster recovery, allowing them to enjoy their normal daily activities sooner.”

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