Da Vinci goes to work for Spectrum Hospital

Big Rapids hospital gets new employee

The new four-armed robotic surgical system, da Vinci, allows surgeons to operate with a mobility and flexibility that they otherwise would not be capable of. Photo by: Sarah Massey | Production Assistant

The surgery department at Spectrum Health Big Rapids Hospital introduced its newest, most untraditional employee over the summer: a robot named da Vinci.

This robotic-assisted surgery system is changing the way surgeons operate on their patients by enabling them to conduct operations through small incisions, while the surgeon remains in control.

Set to start in late August or early September, da Vinci will be assisting in hernia and gall bladder operations before moving on to gynecological surgery, according to a press release from Spectrum.

The four-armed surgical system has many features, such as wristed instruments that can bend greater than a human hand, a magnified vision system that allows surgeons to see a 3D view inside the patient’s body, a console for the surgeon to sit during the operation and a cart where the patient lays during surgery, according to Spectrum.

Da Vinci is used for a wide variety of operations, including cardiac surgery, colorectal surgery, general surgery, gynecologic surgery, head and neck surgery, thoracic surgery and urologic surgery, according to davincisurgery.com.

“The da Vinci System has brought minimally invasive surgery to more than three million patients worldwide,” the website states. “Da Vinci technology translates your surgeon’s hand movements into smaller, precise movements of tiny instruments inside your body.”

For skeptics who might think da Vinci is made-up science fiction, Spectrum is planning a Community Open House 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Sept. 28 at the hospital. In addition to its credentials, da Vinci is also featured in videos, where it proves that it can peel the skin off a grape and stitch it back together again.

For more information, go to davincisurgery. com or SpectrumHealth.org. Videos showcasing the da Vinci can be found on YouTube.