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St. Francis adds two da Vinci XI robots, strengthening surgical capabilities in the community

“To say we’re excited to have two da Vinci XI robots on the St. Francis campus is an understatement,” says Jayson Dock, MD, general surgeon with Allina Health at St. Francis. “Robot-assisted surgery is a valuable tool to enhance many of the surgeries we perform here at St. Francis because it allows surgeons to be extremely precise and minimally invasive, which reduces recovery time for our patients.”

The term “robot” can conjure up images of machines performing the actual surgery, but the surgeon is in charge, using the da Vinci’s tiny robotic instruments as an extension of their own hands and guiding them with controls on a separate console.

“The advantages to the surgeon and operating team are unmatched,” explains Daniel Gatlin, MD, a Park Nicollet general surgeon at St. Francis. “The size of the instruments make it possible for surgeons to operate through two to four small incisions, as opposed to needing a much larger incision to gain entry into the surgical area.”

The da Vinci’s instruments move with precision, like a surgeon’s skilled hand, but offer an extended range of motion that human hands can’t replicate. In addition, a camera on the instrument console offers a highly magnified, 3D, high-definition view of the surgical area displayed on a screen, allowing the surgeon an enhanced point of view of their work.

The device can be used to assist with a wide variety of surgical care, including:

- Cardiovascular (heart)

- Colorectal (colon and rectum)

- General surgery (digestive tract and hernia repairs)

- Gynecology (female reproductive organs)

- Thoracic (chest and lungs)

- Urology (prostate, kidney, and bladder)

“The advantages of robotic surgery over traditional laparoscopy are numerous, the added dexterity, image quality and precision allow for us to perform minimally invasive surgeries that otherwise may have required a large open incision. Additionally, this often makes for shorter operating time on our patients, due to the ease of the technology. Our patients are often able to go home the same day and return to their normal activities sooner,” highlights Ross Heaton, MD, an Allina Health surgeon at St. Francis.

In keeping with the safety culture at St. Francis, in order to provide the best care to our patients, St. Francis staff using the da Vinci XI robots, including the surgeons, operating room staff and hospital care teams, receive comprehensive and ongoing education, training and support from the manufacturer’s experts.

Learn more about surgery at St. Francis here.