Portland hospital recruits robotic surgeon

| Print |  Email
Wednesday, November 01, 2006

PORTLAND — Patients in Portland now have the option of a surgeon with a robotic bedside manner. In October, Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital began using da Vinci, a 1,000-pound, $1.5 million robotic surgical system that has four arms, for prostate cancer surgeries.

Although some doctors have compared the robot to “a great video game,” hospital administrative president Michael Skehan says it will also have uses for a number of specialties, including gynecology and cardiology.

Made by Intuitive Surgical of Sunnyvale, Calif., the robot acts in concert with the movements of a surgeon using its console in the operating room. While da Vinci can interpret its controller’s movements — it can even scale those movements up or down, without input from a surgeon — it cannot operate on its own. Michael Kaempf, a urologist who was the first surgeon to use Good Sam’s robot, says he likes using da Vinci because it can get to small, narrow places in the human body better than his own hands. Da Vinci’s wrist-like tool holders have much more dexterity than a human wrist, including 360-degree rotations and the ability to freeze on command — no matter how many cups of coffee the surgeon had that morning.

“If you can see it, you can make your hand [via the da Vinci’s tools] do it,” says Kaempf. This robot can even sew stitches around corners.

The Portland da Vinci isn’t the only one in Oregon — there’s another in Eugene. Skehan says it took less than a year for the hospital to go through the process of acquiring da Vinci.

All of the robot’s superior functionality adds up to a more minimally invasive surgery. According to Kaempf, patients have a shorter recovery time, less pain and less risk of infection. “Instead of a general stay of three to five days, this patient can go home the next day,” he says. Patients also have one-fifth to one-tenth the blood loss after a surgery with da Vinci compared to a conventional operation. Let’s just hope that the real surgeons can make up for their robotic partner’s lack of personality.

— Colleen Moran


Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

More Articles

Storyteller in Chief: Natural Prophets

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY SAM BLACKMAN

Storyteller-in-chief with the CEO and co-founder of Elemental Technologies.


Read more...

Brain Storm

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY CAMILLE GRIGSBY-ROCCA

Can the brave new world of neurotechnology help an OHSU surgeon find a cure for obesity?


Read more...

Department of Self-Promotion

Linda Baker
Tuesday, August 04, 2015

061715-awards1Oregon Business wins journalism awards.


Read more...

10 Innovators in Rural Health

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

Telemedicine, new partnerships and real estate diversification make health care more accessible in rural Oregon.


Read more...

Quake as metaphor

Linda Baker
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
071515-earthquakia-thumbBY LINDA BAKER

The Big One serves as an allegory for Portland, a city that earns plaudits for lifestyle and amenities but whose infrastructure is, literally, crumbling.


Read more...

Store Bought

July/August 2015
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

Market of Choice is on a tear. In 2012 the 35-year-old Eugene-based grocery chain opened a central kitchen/distribution center in its hometown. The market opened a third Portland store in the Cedar Mill neighborhood this year; a Bend outpost broke ground in March. A fourth Portland location is slated for the inner southeast “LOCA” development, a mixed-use project featuring condos and retail. Revenues in 2014 were $175 million, a double-digit increase over 2013. CEO Rick Wright discusses growth, market trends and how he keeps new “foodie” grocery clerks happy.


Read more...

House of Clarity

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Holding a Power Lunch at Veritable Quandary in downtown Portland.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS