Queen’s on Monday celebrated the 10,765 cases completed with the da Vinci robots, which have four arms (one for the camera, three for the instruments) that are inserted into small incisions in the belly wall to help surgeons remove a variety of cancers and perform hysterectomies, gastric bypass and other procedures.
The hospital also celebrated the deployment of its newest robotic technology, the da Vinci SP, which has smaller, more flexible arms that are inserted through a single one-inch incision that can get to hard to reach places in the body, including the throat and the base of the tongue.
The robots have improved surgical outcomes with faster recovery times for patients, according to Queen’s, which leases the machines and is one of 30 facilities worldwide with the technology.
“We’re always striving to get people out of the hospital quicker and decrease the amount of pain medications they need,” said Dr. Steven Nishida, chairman of Queen’s robotic surgery committee. “Our techniques to help patients recover faster are always improving. We’ve gone through three generations of robots. Patients are in the hospital for shorter stays, usually have less pain, and we can do a more accurate, precise procedure. On the back end, we make up the difference in costs because we have hopefully better outcomes.”
Depending on the procedure, patients who were previously hospitalized for four to five days can now be discharged the same day, he said.