Marina Del Rey: Hospital touts advancements of surgical robot

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Posted December 6, 2012 by The Argonaut in News
By Julia Boyle
A few weeks ago, on Nov. 15, Surgio was born. This is the name given to the new surgical robot created by Marina Del Rey Hospital. Its official name is the “da Vinci Si Surgical System Robot.”
John Adams Middle School in Santa Monica was chosen to play a role in this event, by having a contest to name the robot. As part of the Name the Robot Contest, students were able to choose any name for this unique new technology.
Alma Blanco, a John Adams seventh grader, was the lucky student who chose the name for the robot, Surgio. Blanco was awarded a $50 Amazon.com gift card as well as $100 donated to the John Adams Middle School PTSA given by the Marina Del Rey Hospital.
The main purpose in creating this robot device was to help patients.
“Marina Del Rey Hospital’s state-of-the-art surgical robot enables surgeons to perform delicate and complex operations through a few tiny incisions. This minimally invasive technique minimizes pain, decreases complications and expedites recovery times for patients undergoing a wide range of procedures – from hysterectomy to prostate removal. MDRH’s robotic surgery program has the most advanced robotic technology available,” said Fred Hunter, president and CEO of the hospital.
The $2 million cost for the robot is in accordance with the medical systems, such as CT scanners and MRI systems, hospital officials say.
The robot da Vinci system took a span of about 20 years to make. In the late 1980s, the original prototype was made at the Stanford Research Institute under contract to the U.S. Army. The original use was for battlefield surgery, but it was thought to play a key role in helping with patient access to surgery techniques.
There are many future plans for new technologies from the Marina Del Rey Hospital.
“The field of robotic-assisted surgery is growing and the Marina Del Rey Hospital is leading its peers in the adoption of this advanced method for performing surgery, providing residents of the South Bay, West Los Angeles and surrounding communities the same capabilities previously only available at larger academic centers,” said Hunter. “Today, Marina Del Rey Hospital’s team of specialized robotic surgeons are performing procedures in a number of areas, including general surgery, thoracic surgery, gynecological surgery, colorectal surgery and urological surgery.”
The Marina Del Rey Hospital chose to work with John Adams Middle School due to the school’s science program because it uses an integrated style of learning to teach students different areas of science, including life, earth and physical science, officials said. John Adams Middle School offers 7th and 8th grade science magnet programs, “making them an excellent location for the robot’s visit,” said Hunter.
During the robot’s visit to the school, cardiothoracic robotic surgeon Dr. James McPherson came to show the students how the robot actually works, through live demonstrations. Students were very excited about the robot, some saying they would like to become surgeons when they grow up.
Marina Del Rey Hospital aims to care for patients on all levels.
“As part of Marina Del Rey Hospital’s commitment to improving patient outcomes, we remain at the forefront of clinical innovations that advance the level of care we deliver to our patients. Expansion of the robotic surgery program is the next step in that commitment and provides residents of the South Bay, West Los Angeles and surrounding communities nearby access to the latest minimally invasive surgery,” said Hunter.

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