VGH to acquire new surgical robot system
July 19, 2017
VANCOUVER – After 10 years, Jack the Robot is preparing to retire. A member of the da Vinci Surgical family, Jack has assisted his masters in more than one thousand surgical procedures at Vancouver General Hospital (VGH). While he has served the community well, Jack is becoming obsolete and the time has come for a more advanced robot to take his place.
Vancouver Coastal Health plans to purchase a new robot-assisted surgical system, thanks to a $1 million donation from Hollyburn Properties and the Sander family. This updated version of the da Vinci system includes a teaching console – similar to a driving instructor having a second wheel – to help surgeons become more skilled in the use of the technology.
The system is comprised of a controller, console, 3D camera with 10X magnification, and a bedside cart with four robotic arms. One arm positions the camera while the others hold surgical instruments that are controlled by the hand and foot movements of the surgeon positioned at the console.
“By replacing Jack with cutting-edge surgical robotic technology, which includes a console for a second surgeon, VCH is positioned to further develop the areas where robotic technology provides value,” said Dr. Marcel Dvorak, associate medical director, VCH. “Surgeons are carefully selecting those patients who are likely to benefit from robot-assisted surgical procedures while continuing to provide other leading surgical technologies.”
Robotic technology is used in a variety of surgeries, including radical prostatectomy (removal of the prostate gland and surrounding tissue), cardiovascular bypass surgery (to remove a blocked artery in the heart), and hysterectomy (removal of the uterus and in some cases, the ovaries and fallopian tubes).
“With this minimally invasive surgery, patients are often able to return to their normal activities quicker than if they’ve had open surgery,” said Dr. Peter Black, senior research scientist, Vancouver Prostate Centre. “Patients experience less pain and require less pain medication, and are generally able to recover faster.”
“This generous donation from Hollyburn Properties and Stephen Sander makes possible the purchase of technologically-advanced equipment that will improve patient care,” said Barbara Grantham, president and CEO of VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation. “Investing in healthcare innovation benefits all British Columbians.”
VCH is responsible for the delivery of $3.3 billion in community, hospital and residential care to more than one million people in communities including Richmond, Vancouver, the North Shore, Sunshine Coast, Sea to Sky corridor, Powell River, Bella Bella and Bella Coola.
Pictured above are Dr. Peter Black, on left, and Stephen Sander, on right.