SEBRING — A new surgery robot at AdventHealth Sebring may help surgeons perform operations with less cutting or blood loss, less pain or recovery and fewer complications, especially infection.
That’s because da Vinci Si robotics system uses state-of-the-art technology to let surgeons perform complex procedures through dime-sized incisions using a stereoscopic view feed into the monitors.
“Across the board, it helps with just about every surgery that can be done laparoscopically,” said Dr. Michael Latzko, medical director of Robotic Surgery at AdventHealth Sebring.
He demonstrated at an open-house event on Friday how the controllers, each pinched between the thumb and middle finger, allow a surgeon to open, close, rotate and pivot instruments remotely.
While doing this, he looked through a monitor consisting of two screens arranged like goggles, giving him a three-dimensional view of the part of the body where he was operating.
Of course, the da Vinci system didn’t display the inside of a patient on Friday. It had a virtual reality display of a line of dominoes, allowing users to manipulate a pair of virtual pincers to pick up the dominoes, line them up and knock them down.
Latzko said it uses a laparoscope with two cameras, each serving as a surgeon’s left and right eyes. The images feed into the two halves of the monitor, creating a three-dimensional image for the surgeon.
The controller module is almost as big as the surgical robot, which has “arms.” The arms are outfitted with various instruments on servos, allowing the surgeon to deploy or retract them as needed.
The biggest advantages of the robot, Latzko said, are both its ability to function through smaller incisions and overcome human limitations.
“Essentially, it filters out the deficits that the human body has,” Latzko said.
For instance, the human hand is too big to operate in the tight spaces of vital organs without having to create large incisions in the patient.
Surgeons have “too many fingers,” where a surgical instrument, such as a clamp, needs only two pieces to come together.
It also filters out tremors — minute shaking of hands — making movements and cuts more precise, Latzko said.
One big feature, he said, is that the system can “scale” movements up or down. The surgeon can move fingers just a little to create big movement in the instruments, or move a lot to create small movements.
The first use of this new system in Highlands County, he said, was July 30, and it’s been in use each week since.
As of Friday, AdventHealth Sebring was waiting on a second system to arrive, giving the hospital a total of two da Vinci Si robotic systems.