Robotic doctor is in at Carilion Roanoke Memorial

Latest da Vinci robot improves surgical experience for doctors, patients

ROANOKE, Va. – The robotic doctor is in at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital.

The hospital recently added the latest model from the da Vinci surgical system, the da Vinci Xi, to its fleet of robotic devices.

"This newer technology is a lot more versatile, has a lot more mobility and maneuverability to be able to do a broader range of those important procedures," said Dr. Farrell Adkins, a colorectal surgeon with Carilion.

“It’s not a tin man in the corner that comes up and does the operation. It’s actually under the control of a very highly skilled and highly trained surgeon," Adkins said.

The da Vinci Xi features several robotic arms and tools that allow surgeons to perform a variety of procedures. It also gives two doctors the ability to work simultaneously.

"That gives us options in procedures where two different specialists are required," Adkins said.

Adkins said surgeons can perform minimally invasive procedures with the da Vinci robot, which is a benefit to patients.

“The advantages of that minimally invasive approach results in decreased post operative pain," Adkins said. "They’ll also have a shorter length of stay in the hospital and lower long-term complication rates as well."

The da Vinci robot can also be a teaching tool for medical students.

"The ability to show them this technology and teach this technology to them in a simultaneous fashion is really beneficial to their overall growth," Adkins said.

Carilion has a total of five da Vinci surgical robots between Roanoke Memorial and Carilion New River Valley Medical Center, with the two newest versions in Roanoke.  

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