da Vinci Surgical System

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da Vinci Surgical System

daVinci Solid at Home in Santa Cruz

Three years ago a da Vinci surgical robot arrived in Santa Cruz and took its place as the newest high-tech tool in the hands of skilled surgeons.

Today, hundreds of patients in the region have benefitted – and many more will continue to benefit – from the minimal intrusion, quicker recovery and, of course, great outcomes of robotic surgery.

Nicknamed Steady Eddy by local students, the Dominican robot was placed into action in summer 2008.The Dominican Hospital Foundation has invested $1.5 million to bring the latest in surgical technology to the Central Coast.

The state-of-the-art da Vinci Surgical System is used to perform laparoscopic surgeries (those with fiber optic instruments, rather than traditional "open" surgeries), with instruments less than one-third inch in diameter. Using the da Vinci Surgical System, the surgeon operates while seated at a console next to the operating table, viewing a 3-D image of the surgical field. The surgeon uses master controls located below the display to perform the procedure. The system translates the surgeon’s hand, wrist and finger movements into precise, real-time movements of the surgical instruments inside the patient.

“The da Vinci system allows us to do complex surgery with more precision and better results,” said Mark Rosen, MD, urological surgeon and member of Dominican’s medical staff. “It’s taken the advantages of traditional laparoscopic surgery and made them even better.”


Those advantages include faster recovery, less post-operative pain and less blood loss during surgery for patients.

Three probes are placed inside the body near the site of the surgery and the three small slits are the only incisions needed. Two of the internal probes house the pinpoint cutting and suturing mechanisms at their ends; the third conceals a 3-D video camera to provide the “eyes” for the surgeon.

“It’s a very intuitive system to learn,” said Dr. Rosen. “Whatever movements you make with your hands, those are the movements the instruments make inside the body. Complex operations that require precise dissection and fine suturing have been difficult to learn laparoscopically, but they are much easier to perform with the da Vinci system. The da Vinci system allows us to offer the benefits of less-invasive surgery to many more patients.”

Surgeons will be able to use the da Vinci system for procedures in urology, including the treatment of prostate cancer; gynecology, including hysterectomies and removal of uterine fibroids; and for cardiothoracic and general surgery.

Technologic advances mean little, of course, unless they serve humanity. And the statistics show measurable and continuing benefits for patients and their loved ones from robotic surgery.

“The da Vinci surgery program at Dominican has allowed hundreds of Santa Cruz patients to have state-of-the-art surgery in their own town with care from their local doctors,” says Dr. Rosen. “This is a real benefit to the health and well-being of our community.”

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Dominican Hospital
1555 Soquel Dr
Santa Cruz, CA 95065
(831) 462-7700