The UConn Health Center’s robotic surgery program celebrated a milestone on Wednesday, June 20, when gynecologist Dr. David Park performed a hysterectomy using the da Vinci Robotic Surgical System. It marked the 100th robotic surgery procedure performed at the UConn Health Center.
The da Vinci Surgical System provides surgeons with enhanced capabilities, including high-definition 3D vision and a magnified view. Specially trained surgeons control the da Vinci System, which translates his or her hand movements into smaller, more precise movements of tiny instruments inside the body. Though it is often called a “robot,” the da Vinci System cannot act on its own; surgery is performed 100 percent by the physician.
The Health Center’s robotic surgical system was installed in September 2011 and is quickly expanding.
“We have nine physicians who are using the system and two more who are currently being certified,” says Dr. Angela Kueck, a gynecologic oncologist and medical director of the Health Center’s robotic surgery program. “Before we performed our first robotic case, the surgical support staff all received extensive training on the system, from the nursing staff to the anesthesiologists.”
The da Vinci Surgical System is used for a variety of procedures ranging from general surgery to gynecologic oncology, benign gynecology, reproductive endocrinology, infertility, and urology.
The UConn Health Center is a training site for physicians learning the robotic surgery technique. The da Vinci system has a computerized simulator for learning purposes and a teaching platform to allow surgeons to work simultaneously with trainees.