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Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento Pioneers Most-Advanced Surgical Robot in California

SACRAMENTO, Calif., July 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento on Wednesday became the first hospital in California to use the next-generation robotic surgery system called the da Vinci Xi, which provides 3-D, high-definition visualization and greater dexterity, precision and control for the surgeon as well as less pain and a quicker recovery for the patient.

Steven C. Patching, M.D., who in 1993 was the first to use laparoscopic, minimally invasive surgery in the Sacramento region, became the first surgeon in California to complete a procedure – a gallbladder removal – using the new da Vinci Xi system.

The da Vinci Xi, which was approved by the FDA in April, has broader capabilities than prior generations of the da Vinci system, with the adaptability to be used across an array of surgeries in urology, gynecology, thoracic, cardiac and general surgery.

The Xi possesses 3D-HD visualization, giving surgeons a highly magnified view, virtually extending their eyes and hands into the patient. The da Vinci Xi system's new overhead arm architecture provides the surgeon anatomical access from virtually any position, simplifying multi-quadrant surgeries. Smaller, thinner arms coupled with longer instrument shafts permit greater range of motion and more flexibility than ever before.

"The improvements and sophistication of this latest generation of da Vinci surgical robots are absolutely remarkable," Dr. Patching said after completing the first surgery. "With the da Vinci Xi, the patient experiences less pain than standard laparoscopic surgery, the surgeon can see in true three dimensions, and the tips of the robotic arms articulate like our wrists and fingers. With the older-generation robots, the dexterity is very limited."

For the first surgery, Dr. Patching performed a cholecystectomy that was more difficult than most gallbladder removals because the patient had a lot of scarring around the organ. With a traditional laparoscopic cholecystectomy or one using the prior-generation da Vinci robot, it would be more difficult to maneuver around the scarring to remove the gallbladder. With the da Vinci Xi's increased, human-like dexterity, the surgery was much simpler and led to less pain for the patient.

Dr. Patching said that in many communities surgeons are still using the traditional open surgery approach, which has a recovery period of four to six weeks because of the larger incision that was made to remove the gallbladder. By using the new da Vinci Xi, patients will be back to normal activities within a week.

Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento is part of the groundbreaking Sutter Institute for Minimally Invasive Surgery, which brings the most advanced, minimally invasive procedures to Northern California.

Sutter Medical Center acquired two of the new da Vinci Xi systems, and they will replace the da Vinci robots at Sutter General and Sutter Memorial hospitals that are currently being used for a variety of gynecological, urological and general surgeries. Three Sutter surgeons have already been trained on the da Vinci Xi, and many others will be ready to use the new system before the end of the year. With this new technology and its enhanced features, the medical center plans to expand its use to bariatric, cardiothoracic and other even more complex surgeries.

Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento was the first medical center in the greater Sacramento region to use the da Vinci robotic system, and in the past 10 years its surgeons have used it to perform thousands of successful surgeries.

The mission of Sutter Institute for Minimally Invasive Surgery is to provide state-of-the-art patient care through the application of minimally invasive surgical techniques and technology. That means our patients recover faster and get back to their daily lives sooner. We're invested in making sure we offer access to the most advanced procedures and have quality outcomes that are among the best in the country. Minimally invasive surgery is available at all of the facilities within Sutter Health Sacramento Sierra Region, including Sutter Amador Hospital, Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital, Sutter Davis Hospital, Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento, Sutter Roseville Medical Center and Sutter Solano Medical Center. Physicians from each of these hospitals have formed a multispecialty committee to advance the use and quality of minimally invasive surgery using national best practices and benchmarks, and by participating in cutting-edge clinical trials and data research to ensure patients receive the best care available. For more information, go to

SOURCE Sutter Medical Center
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