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August 14, 2013 - First Robotic-Assisted Surgical Cases Performed at UPMC Altoona


The cases were performed by Matthew Newlin, M.D., general surgeon and medical director of Robotic Surgery at the hospital. Dr. Newlin said the procedures were gall bladder removal surgeries called "robotic assisted laparoscopic cholecystectomy." Dr. Scot Currie will be performing robotic surgery in the near future as well.

"It is exciting to be involved with such advanced technology and work with those who are also energized by this kind of expansion of skill-sets and clinical offerings," he said. "We are poised to expand the number of surgeons performing robotic surgery here and the breadth of operations offered at UPMC Altoona."

The da Vinci Si has several unique features designed to provide additional clinical benefits and efficiency in the operating room, many of which translate to patient benefits. Here are a few features of the da Vinci Si:

- Enhanced 3D, high-definition vision of operative field with up to 10x magnification
- Superior visual clarity of tissue and anatomy
- Surgical dexterity and precision far greater than even the human hand
- Updated and simplified user interface to enhance OR efficiency
- New ergonomic settings for greater surgeon comfort
- Simulation for training in an immersive virtual environment
- Firefly™ Fluorescence Imaging for real-time anatomy identification using infrared guidance

The da Vinci's advanced level of technology takes surgery beyond the limits of the human hand. This complements UPMC Altoona's goal of extending minimally invasive surgery to the broadest possible base of patients. It can be used for a multitude of procedures, including, but not limited to: hysterectomy, myomectomy, colorectal, gallbladder, and other general surgery procedures.