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University Hospital Expands Robotic Surgery Offerings

New Jersey’s Public Hospital Has Two New da Vinci Robotic-Assisted Surgery Systems

University Hospital in Newark has expanded its robotic surgery offerings with the acquisition of two new da Vinci robotic-assisted surgery systems. According to Intuitive, the manufacturers of the da Vinci systems, University Hospital is one of only three acute care hospitals in New Jersey with both the da Vinci Xi and da Vinci SP robotic surgery units, and the only hospital in Essex County to offer both platforms. University Hospital is also one of the few that utilize the robotic surgery approach across such a wide range of specialties.

Robotic surgery is an advanced form of minimally invasive surgery, or surgery where surgeons use computer-controlled robotic instruments to assist them in certain surgical procedures. University Hospital will be able to use its new da Vinci Xi surgical robot for procedures such as hysterectomies, liver and kidney surgeries, cardiothoracic procedures, colon resections, splenectomies hernias, bariatric (weight loss) surgeries, among others. A second robot, da Vinci SP, will be used for ear, nose and throat (ENT) and urology procedures. This includes transoral robotic surgery (TORS) which is used primarily to remove human papilloma virus (HPV)-associated head and neck cancers.

“As a public hospital that serves a vulnerable community, we realize the importance of offering top-of-the-line medical technologies to our community,” said Shereef Elnahal, MD, MBA, President and CEO of University Hospital. “The playing field has leveled, now that we have more advanced, surgical technologies. Robotic surgery is just one way we are delivering the very best care to people in Newark and throughout the region.”

For patients, the benefits of robotic surgery include smaller incisions and reduced risk of infection, shorter hospitalization, reduced pain and discomfort, faster recovery time and return to normal activities, minimal scarring and reduced blood loss.

“Our comprehensive team of surgeons are all very excited to expand our robotic surgery repertoire here at University Hospital,” said Dylan Roden, MD MPH, Chair of the Robotics Committee at University Hospital and Assistant Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. “The major advantage of this state-of-the-art technology is that it helps our patients avoid more invasive procedures, allowing them to recover faster and spend less time in the hospital.”

With this new technology, University Hospital is set to increase its capacity to serve nearly 250 patients in need of these services each year. There are 14 different University Hospital surgeons who have undergone the extensive training and certification needed to perform robotic surgical procedures, and cover all major specialties including ear, nose and throat (ENT/Head and Neck), cardiothoracic, urology, gynecology, hepatobiliary (liver and gall bladder), surgical oncology, colorectal, and general surgery.

The da Vinci robot’s “hands” have a high degree of dexterity and range of motion, allowing surgeons the ability to operate in very tight spaces in the body that would otherwise only be accessible through a much larger incision during open surgery.

When performing robotic surgery using the da Vinci Surgical System, the surgeon works from a separate console adjacent to the operating table. From the console, the surgeon is able to control miniaturized instruments mounted on three robotic arms to perform the procedure. The surgeon’s view is achieved through a 3-D camera attached to a fourth robotic arm, magnifying the surgical site. The surgeon’s hand, wrist and finger movements are transmitted from the console to the instruments attached to the robot’s arms.

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