The use of a robotic tool called the da Vinci Surgical System to perform a wide range of surgeries has boomed nationwide since the tool debuted in 2003. The trend is no surprise: when controlled by a highly skilled surgeon, the robot can help dramatically reduce the size of incisions and make some complex operations far easier on patients.
NYU Langone, long at the forefront of robotic surgery, with nearly 60 highly trained specialists performing 2,000 robotic procedures annually, is now extending its expertise to NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn, recruiting a half-dozen veteran robotic surgeons there. NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn recently became the first hospital in Brooklyn to acquire the most advanced da Vinci model available. The eight-foot-tall machine features three-dimensional vision and four bionic arms with flexible “wrists” that have far greater range of motion and dexterity than the human hand. “The robot allows us to work more precisely and quickly, which means less anesthesia,” explains Ghadir M. Salame, MD, a gynecologic oncology surgeon who joined NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn and Perlmutter Cancer Center last February. “There’s less bleeding and less pain.”
As a result, patients often recover faster, typically spending only one night in the hospital. If they need additional treatments, such as chemotherapy, those can begin sooner as well. “The da Vinci is very sophisticated technology, but of course it’s the surgeon, not the instrument, who performs the operation,” says Frederick A. Gulmi, MD, chief of urology.
By now, NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn’s still-growing robotic team has performed more than 200 surgeries, from urological and gynecological procedures to complex hernia repairs. “The exciting news is not that we have a new high-tech tool,” notes Bret J. Rudy, MD, executive hospital director and senior vice president of NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn, “but that we’re recruiting experts who can use it to its full advantage. It’s a symbol of our commitment to our patients.”