There are clear benefits to having certain medical procedures done with surgical robotics. There's shorter recovery time, less blood loss, reduced trauma to the body, and less pain.. to name a few.
Joni Sheier, Lead Surgical Technologist, and a team of more than 10 people made up of RN's, technologists, and anesthesia are busy preparing the O.R.. and the da Vinci for a patient coming in for a radical prostatectomy.
Avera McKennan is the first facility in South Dakota to have this new high definition, 3D version of robotic surgery equipment.
Joni says, "Regular laparoscopy is very minimally invasive with robotics surgery with instruments that can be inside the abdomen and still be minimally invasive and 3D vision it's better for the patients and they have great outcomes. "
15 trained surgeons in three different specialties use the da Vinci Surgical System, but they know it wouldn't be possible without everyone in the room. Dr. Luis Rojas, Gynecologic Oncologist with the Avera Cancer Institute says, they are often key in trouble shooting when there's a problem with the equipment during surgery, but it's not for everyone.
Joni says, "There is a big learning curve with this. The technology is hard to learn not the procedure. Dr. Rojas is such a good surgeon to work for. He helped train us and we went to training and we hold in-service training here. Now we are training staff on a daily basis to do robotic surgeries."
Dr. Rojas says, "Our team is a good mixture. They are eager to learn."
Just as the technologists strategically placed arm sleeves on the equipment, they were strategically picked for surgery.
Dr. Rojas says, "They are the reason why our surgeries here go so well. Why we have very very few complications. They are the best of the best. I wouldn't change them for anyone in the world. They're great."
Dr. Rojas says while no surgical procedure is without risk, studies show robotics surgery in comparison to conventional or laproscopic surgery it decreases blood loss by 60% and the risk of surgery related injuries by 70%.