Published: Sep 17, 2008

Tampa (September 17, 2008) - Tampa General Hospital today announced the availability of a new, minimally-invasive method to treat patients – robotic-assisted surgery.  Urologist  Raviender Bukkapatnam (Boohka-put-num) performed the first robotic-assisted procedure at TGH on September 4th, a sacrocolpopexy procedure for vaginal/rectal prolapse.  He was assisted by Dr. Mohamed Helal. Approximately 20 years ago, surgeons began practicing a new way to perform surgery —minimally invasive surgery (MIS). Minimally invasive surgery refers to surgery performed in ways other than through large "open" incisions in the body.  Although revolutionary in its effect on patient trauma and recovery times, MIS has significant technical drawbacks. The surgeon operates using a 2-D monitor instead of looking at his or her hands, making all movement counterintuitive. The lack of 3-D visualization of the operative field, the poor ergonomic design, and the lack of touch sense offered by the laparoscopic instruments are also significant drawbacks. As a result, this type of MIS has turned out to be suitable for only the simplest surgical procedure. In the late 1990s, however, another revolutionary surgical technique called robotic-assisted surgery was introduced with the da Vinci® Surgical System/da Vinci® S™System at the forefront. The system is making it possible to convert complex procedures in a broad range of surgical specialties from open surgeries to those using minimally invasive techniques. The da Vinci® Surgical System/da Vinci® S™ System allows a surgeon greater visualization, enhanced dexterity, precision and control and superior ergonomics. “Multiple clinical studies have shown that the da Vinci® Surgical System/da Vinci® S™ System offers patients shorter hospital stays, less pain, less risk of infection, less blood loss and transfusions, less scarring and faster recovery,” said Dr. Bukkapatnam.  TGH has acquired the newest model of the da Vinci. About the da Vinci® Surgical System/da Vinci® S™ System  The da Vinci® Surgical System/da Vinci® S™ System is powered by state-of-the-art robotic technology. The system allows a surgeon’s hand movements to be scaled, filtered and translated into precise movements of micro-instruments within the operative site. The magnified, three-dimensional view the surgeon experiences enables him/her to perform precise surgery in complex procedures through small surgical incisions.