OSF St. Anthony Shows Off Capabilities of New Surgical Robot


OSF St. Anthony showed off the latest addition to the surgical team, Wednesday afternoon: a second Da Vinci XI surgical robot. The Da Vinci XI interface looks almost like a video game, but the robot itself can perform serious surgeries, as minimally invasive as possible.

“It is a way for us to use laparoscopic surgery at a much more precise and more extensive level that what we’ve used it before,” said Dr. Lawrence Prabhakar, colorectal surgeon at OSF St. Anthony.

The Da Vinci XI Surgical System is capable of movements as precise as peeling a grape. Operators wear a 3D vision system to see what the robot’s HD cameras see, and manipulate joystick-like controls to move the jointed wrist instruments.

“If I move my hand an inch, it moves an inch, but I can get that robot so that if my hand moves an inch, it only moves 2 millimeters,” said Dr. David Cable, heart surgeon at OSF St. Anthony.

Dr. Cable is the first in the area to bring the robot to heart surgery, and one of only a couple dozen in the United States.

“Anytime you do something the first time, it makes you a little bit nervous, you hope that everything is going to go well,” said Dr. Cable who has been performing heart surgeries with the robot since February.

Doctors like Cable go through specialized training using simulators before doing the real thing in the operating room. 

“We’re able to have a better way to treat patients, have a better way to get them back to their activities, get them back to things that they want to do, and back to health quicker than what they’ve had before,” said Dr. Prabhakar.


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