New robot at Roper Hospital on cutting edge of surgical technology

VIDEO: New robot at Roper Hospital on cutting edge of surgical technology

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A new robot at Roper St. Francis is changing the way surgeries are done. The technology was just introduced, and it’s already in use at their downtown hospital.

The surgical robot is called da Vinci XI and is expected to be used on a regular basis. It will be used by more than 20 surgeons from urology to general surgery.

A surgeon sits at the master console about six feet away from the operating table. He or she then looks at a 3D monitor and uses joysticks to control the robot. It’s already been used by Dr. Jorge Lagares-Garcia, a colorectal surgeon at Roper Hospital.

"The surgeon pretty much has control of everything,” Lagares-Garcia said. “You can have control from the master console, so you don't have to think about it, or tell the staff, or wait the time. So, it's time saving during an operation which is very important for the patient."

Roper also says the equipment has better precision, which means less-invasive, lower-risk procedures, and quicker recovery times for patients. The doctors using it are also hoping this means less recovery pain medication, like opioids, will be prescribed.

"We’re trying to cut down on the incisions, so we won’t use any opioids,” Lagares-Garcia said. He added that the hospital is using the advanced recovery protocol.

This means that doctors are trying to avoid and decrease the number of opioids they prescribe to patients.

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