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Shawnee Mission Health's Shull Institute for Surgical Robotics Reaches Major Milestone

Surgeons at Shawnee Mission Health's Shull Institute for Surgical Robotics have performed 4,000 robotic procedures.

7/20/2017  |  By Morgan Shandler

In 2002, surgeons at the Shull Institute for Surgical Robotics at Shawnee Mission Health (SMH) were the first in a five-state area to use robotic surgery.

Now, 15 years later, SMH recently reached the significant milestone of 4,000 robotic procedures. Using a surgical system called da Vinci, the minimally-invasive technology lessens patient recovery time, shortens hospital stays, and ultimately improves clinical outcomes.

"This milestone is a tribute to the value of teamwork and Shawnee Mission Health's commitment to caring for our community," said Brenda Shoup, MD, and SMH gynecological oncology surgeon. "Robotic surgery is beneficial to a variety of patients, including those who have been diagnosed with gynecological cancer, because the surgical procedure results in less tissue damage and trauma."

In addition to gynecological oncology procedures, surgical robotics is used in a variety of cases at SMH including urology; pelvic floor reconstructions to treat issues such as incontinence or prolapse; and benign gynecology and cancerous surgeries, including colorectal and general surgeries.

SMH surgeons operate the robotic-surgical system from a computer that controls a surgical arm unit guided by a camera with magnification that is 10 times higher than what can be seen by the human eye. Master controls work like forceps that respond to input in real time and translate the surgeon's hand movements to precisely guide miniaturized instruments, allowing surgeons to perform various types of surgeries through dime-sized incisions.

As a result, patients can return to their normal activities sooner than traditional surgery and are at lower risk of developing infection.