Evanston Northwestern Healthcare first to use latest robotic surgical system

Evanston Northwestern Healthcare (ENH) today announced that Evanston Hospital will be the first facility in Illinois to perform surgery using Intuitive Surgical's da Vinci® S™ Surgical System.

The da Vinci® S™ Surgical System is an addition to Intuitive Surgical's da Vinci product line. da Vinci is a state-of-the-art robotic-system designed to expand the surgeon's capabilities, providing patients with a minimally invasive option for many complex procedures – for the very first time.

The da Vinci System allows surgeons to perform complex procedures – including prostate, heart and gynecological surgery -- using dime-sized incisions. For most patients, this minimally invasive approach results in significantly less pain, less blood loss, shorter recovery periods and a quicker return to normal daily activities.

The da Vinci S is Evanston Northwestern Healthcare's first da Vinci Surgical System as well as the first da Vinci S model in clinical service in Illinois. At Evanston Hospital, prostate cancer patients will be among the first to undergo da Vinci Surgery with William K. Johnston III, MD, Director of Laparoscopy and Minimally Invasive Urology and Assistant Professor at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine. Dr. Johnston was formally trained in laparoscopic and robotic surgery at the University of Michigan.

"While patients will experience shorter hospital stays with less post operative pain and they typically can return to their daily routine in one week rather than six, I am equally excited about the opportunity to improve surgical outcomes with improved vision and dexterity afforded by the robotic arms and fiber optic 3-D imaging in our new S-version of the da Vinci," said Dr. Johnston.

By enhancing surgical capabilities, da Vinci Surgery is helping to improve clinical outcomes and redefine standards of care. Along with offering the many potential benefits of minimally invasive surgery, studies suggest that da Vinci Surgery may deliver improved clinical outcomes – for example, better cancer control and a faster return to potency and continence, as documented with da Vinci Prostatectomy.

The da Vinci Surgical System consists of an ergonomically designed console at which the surgeon sits; a mobile patient-side cart with four interactive robotic arms; a high-resolution 3D vision system and proprietary wristed instrumentation. The System is designed to seamlessly translate the surgeon's hand movements into corresponding micro-movements of the miniaturized instruments positioned inside the patient.

Two robotic arms, representing the surgeon's left and right hands, hold the proprietary instruments. The instruments -- which have more range of motion than the human hand -- are inserted into the patient through 1-2 cm incisions. A third arm holds the 3D camera, which the surgeon can easily reposition, as well as zoom and rotate to adjust his or her field of vision, from the console. The System delivers a highly magnified, view of the operative field, with bright, crisp images and natural depth-of-field, which enables the surgeon to perform delicate tissue dissection and suture with added precision – even in confined spaces.

The fourth arm enables the surgeon to add a third instrument to perform supporting tasks like tissue retraction, thereby eliminating the need for a patient-side assistant for selected procedures. The console surgeon can simultaneously control any two of the operating arms simply by depressing a foot pedal underneath the console.

"As amazing as the system is, we are always looking for ways to improve beyond technology today," said Dr. Johnston. Last year, Evanston Northwestern Healthcare underwrote a joint research project with the Northwestern University's Biomedical Engineering Department to improve imaging techniques used during laparoscopic and robotic surgery. Dr. Johnston went on to say that "the use of 3-D imaging is only the beginning phase of what surgical vision improvements await us in the months and years ahead."

"At Evanston Northwestern Healthcare, we are all about making a difference in patients' lives and restoring them to good health as quickly as possible," Dr. Johnston points out. "Technology advances such as robotic surgery offer our patients state-of-the-art medical care delivered by knowledgeable experts, who bring compassion to every patient we see."


Sources that support the potential for improved clinical outcomes with da Vinci Surgery: Cancer control is defined in part by margin rates and PSA test scores. The following studies provide support for these claims: Ahlering TE, Woo D, Eichel L, Lee DI, Edwards R, Skarecky DW. Robot-assisted versus open radical prostatectomy: a comparison of one surgeon's outcomes. Urology. 2004 May;63(5):819-22. Menon M, Tewari A, Peabody JO, Shrivastava A, Kaul S, Bhandari A, Hemal AK. Vattikuti Institute prostatectomy, a technique of robotic radical prostatectomy for management of localized carcinoma of the prostate: experience of over 1100 cases. Urol Clin North Am. 2004 Nov;31(4):701-17. Tewari A, Srivasatava A, Menon M; Members of the VIP Team. A prospective comparison of radical retropubic and robot-assisted prostatectomy: experience in one institution. BJU Int. 2003 Aug;92(3):205-10.

About Evanston Northwestern Healthcare

Located in Chicago's northern suburbs, Evanston Northwestern Healthcare (ENH) is an integrated healthcare system that includes Evanston, Glenbrook and Highland Park Hospitals; ENH Medical Group (comprising 65 medical offices and facilities); ENH Home Services, ENH Research Institute and ENH Foundation.

Through its affiliation with Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, ENH supports extensive medical education and research programs. ENH is in the top nine percent of all institutions that receive funding from the National Institutes of Health; among multi-specialty independent research hospitals it ranks 12th in the nation.

Dr. Johnston's research in laparoscopic biomedical engineering is supported by ENH grant with the assistance and collaboration of Professor Jay Walsh, Northwestern Biomedical Engineering Dept.

ENH is the only healthcare system in the United States that has been named a top 100 hospital and a leader among America's top 15 major teaching hospitals 11 times.*

Group for Patient Safety.** Hospitals and Health Networks magazine has named ENH one of the "Most Wired" healthcare organizations in the nation.

* 2005 Solucient 100 Top Hospitals: National Benchmarks for Success Study

** 2004 Leapfrog Hospital Quality and Safety Survey

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 30 Apr 2016
    Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.