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SMH doctors demo latest generation surgical robot

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Photo credit: William Mansell
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On Friday Sarasota Memorial Hospital invited its robotic surgeons and representatives from Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation to “test drive” the latest generation in surgical robots.

Sarasota Memorial has two of the da Vinci Surgical Systems – enabling surgeons to offer the latest in minimally invasive robotic surgery – thanks to the generosity of donors and grants from the healthcare foundation. The next generation da Vinci on display Friday was a “Dual Console” system – which allows two surgeons to perform robotic surgery on a patient at the same time – and a “Skills Simulator Robot,” which allows them to hone their skills by performing surgery in simulation mode (without a real patient).

In 2006, Sarasota Memorial made history when it acquired the most advanced surgical robot in the world. It was the first in Florida – and among the first in the world – to purchase the da Vinci-S Robotic Surgical System just months after it was introduced to the international market.

Two years later, as demand for minimally invasive surgery skyrocketed, an anonymous $1.5 million donation allowed Sarasota Memorial to purchase a second da Vinci robot and unveil its new Center for Advanced Cardiac Surgery – an operating room dedicated to minimally invasive robotic heart surgery.

A technological breakthrough, the da Vinci robot allows surgeons to maneuver surgical tools inside the body through small, key-hole size incisions, and perform tiny, precise procedures not possible with the human hand alone. The da Vinci-S robotic surgical system has FDA approval for many procedures, including heart surgery, prostate and uterine cancer surgery and other gynecologic procedures.

For patients, it means less pain, less blood loss, less damage to surrounding tissue and a much faster recovery. In the case of prostate and uterine cancer, studies suggest the precision of da Vinci also can offer improved cancer control and a lower incidence of impotence and urinary incontinence.

For a list of Sarasota Memorial’s robotic surgeons or more information about minimally invasive or robotic surgery, call Sarasota Memorial’s HealthLine at (941) 917-7777 or visit

Media contact: Kim Savage, 941-917-6271
Date: Feb. 18, 2011

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