Integris Bass Baptist Health Center has welcomed a new member to its surgical team.

The DaVinci Xi Surgical System is an expandable technology platform designed to accommodate and integrate current technologies and future innovations in imaging, advanced instruments and anatomical access, said Catherine Gann, director of Foundation and Business Development for Bass.

The hospital’s previous generation of surgical robot, the Si, is now at Integris Southwest Medical Center in Oklahoma City.

Kristie Shelhorse, RN and robotics program administrator at Bass, said the team had completed 13 surgeries with the new robot as of Thursday. 

“Most of our doctors have said they think the visualization is better,” she said. “It was good before but it’s even better now.”

The robot also provides more range of motion and patient movement than the previous surgical robots, she said.

“We have table motion, which is integrated with the robot,” she said. “The table is Bluetooth connected with the robot, so if you needed to tilt the patient head-up a little more or something, this table would move with the robot. 

“If you were in the middle of a surgery with the Si and you needed to tilt the patient, you could not move the patient.”

Being able to tilt the table assists with various surgeries, said Dr. Michael Jackson, a gynecologist with Bass.

“Like when I do a hysterectomy, I can tilt the patient backward so all the intestines and (other organs) fall away from that, because I don’t want to touch that,” he said. 

Other benefits include being able to position a patient after administering anesthesia, instead of before, he said.

The robot has four movable arms that provide more range of motion and access angles than before, with longer instrument shafts to provide more operative reach, Gann said.

The device also can calibrate where to position the arms based on the position of one, Jackson said.

“It will calculate the best position for the other arms,” he said. “On the old system, we had to figure out ourselves and make sure the arms don’t start banging into each other. This system does it itself and makes the chance of that happening much less likely.”

Robotic surgery makes less recovery time for patients, Jackson said.

“If someone had a big mass or a lot of things stuck together, we had to open them up and they’d be in the hospital for a few days, and uncomfortable for six weeks,” he said. “Now, we can do this and send them home the same day. I send home a lot of hysterectomy patients the same day, and 15 years ago, we kept them in the hospital for two or three days.”

As a gynecologist, Jackson said many of his patients don’t have lots of time to spend in recovery.

“I see a lot of moms trying to get things done, and nobody has six weeks to be off anymore,” he said. 

Before Jackson came to Enid three years ago, he worked with the Xi in Wichita. 

“Since I’ve been using this — I got out of residency in 2003 — patient satisfaction is way higher than what I remember it being when we had to make a big incision on somebody,” he said. 

Surgeons, like Jackson, operate the robot from a separate console through hand controls and imaging screens. 

“We still have to put the instruments through the abdomen or wherever and be ready for any kind of complication, but after that, I’m sitting here during the case,” he said. “And at the end, I close the incisions.” 

Robotic surgery provides more options to patients in Northwest Oklahoma, Jackson said.

“You can do a lot of things here that maybe 10 years ago you couldn’t do in Enid,” he said. “Prostates and kidneys and some colon sections, you would have to drive down to Oklahoma City. You don’t have to do that now.”

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