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Saint Barnabas Medical Center Invites Public to Test Drive the Da Vinci Robotic Surgical System

Jason Cohen

Sunday, December 16, 2012 • 7:55am

SHORT HILLS, NJ - On Saturday, shoppers at Short Hills Mall had the opportunity to learn firsthand about robotic surgery when the Saint Barnabas Medical Center had the Da Vinci Robotic Surgical System on display on the lower level near Guest Services, outside of Macy’s.

Robotic surgery is the next generation of minimally invasive surgery which utilizes a high-level computer system to dramatically enhance visualization, precision, control and dexterity during surgery. In a robotic procedure, a computer is positioned between the surgeon’s hands and the tips of micro-instruments, giving surgeons the control, range of motion and 3-D visualization characteristic of open surgery.

It results in significantly less pain, fewer side effects, less scarring, a shorter hospital stay and recovery period, quicker return to normal activities.

From 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. there were two machines for people to practice on and doctors on hand to explain how they function and answer any questions regarding robotic surgery.  

Robotic surgery has been used at Saint Barnabas since 2000 and Dr. Michael LaSalle, a urology surgeon said physicians really appreciate its efficiency and ultimately it makes their jobs much easier. He said patients are told prior to surgery that it will be used and many of them prefer it because of the short stay and quicker procedures.

“The robot is not doing the surgery; it’s assisting the surgeon to do the surgery,” LaSalle said.

LaSalle said there were even some former patients who came to the mall to see how the robotics actually worked.  

Dr. Alan Strumeyer said the robotic surgery is extremely beneficial for all parties involved.

“It’s a great machine. It’s definitely revolutionized treatment of urological conditions,” Strumeyer said.

Larry Batille, who works in the mall, said he had seen it before and was curious as to how it worked. Batille said it was quite easy to maneuver, but it wasn’t exactly what he thought it was.

“I thought it was an eye test,” he said. “It was interesting because you don’t really know what doctors use when they perform surgery.”

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