Beaumont Health in Southfield today announced it has expanded its fleet of robots by nearly 50 percent to increase the ability of doctors to provide an advanced, minimally invasive option for more patients.
With the expansion, Beaumont now has 24 da Vinci robotic surgical systems spread throughout the division, with the recent installation of seven additional robots. The expansion means robotic surgeons and their teams will have the capacity to treat an additional 2,200 patients with minimally invasive robotic surgery at Beaumont Health.
“We expanded the robotic surgery program to meet demand,” says Dr. Benjamin Schwartz, president of Beaumont Health. “Our patients — and their physicians — deserve access to the latest technology available. The robotic surgery teams at all eight Beaumont Health hospitals are recognized as the best of the best. More robots mean more patients will have access to these experts and advanced capabilities when they need it most.”
The main benefits of robotic surgery include smaller incisions with less scaring, less pain and trauma for the patient, a shorter recovery time, and, if the surgery isn’t outpatient, shorter hospital stays. A study published in December 2021 in Hernia, The World Journal of Hernia and Abdominal Wall Surgery by Beaumont Health, showed patients undergoing robotic hernia surgery experienced on average a 3-day hospital stay versus a 5-day stay for traditional surgery.
In turn, 5 percent of robotic surgery patients experienced complications at the surgical site versus 15 percent of those who had traditional surgery.
“When robotic surgery is appropriate for the patient and the situation, we generally see great outcomes,” says Dr. Anthony Iacco, medical director of robotics at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, and lead investigator for the study. “This is a win-win both for the patient’s experience and for reducing time spent in the hospital.”
Many robotic surgeries can be done on an outpatient basis due to the minimally invasive nature of the procedures. Beaumont Children’s is also among a handful of children’s hospitals to provide robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgery for young patients.
Beaumont Health physicians most often use the robots for removal of all or part of a prostate, a gallbladder, or a kidney; gynecologic surgery, like hysterectomy; intestinal hernias; bariatric surgery; orthopedic surgery, and surgery of the colon or rectum.
For robotic surgery, the surgeon sits at a console near the patient and looks at a screen. The surgeon sees what a small camera at the end of the robotic arm is capturing inside the patient, offering a magnified, three-dimensional view that improves the surgeon’s vision and ability to manipulate vital structures.
The surgeon then uses remote hand controls to move and guide the robotic arms and conduct the surgery through either one or a couple of small incisions.
The process allows surgeons to have a better, up-close view inside the patient, and more precise movements of the tools being used to perform the surgery. In robotic surgery for children, the camera is especially beneficial because it allows a better, enlarged view of very small surgical areas.