WVU Medicine expands robotic surgery at Eastern Panhandle hospital

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — WVU Medicine Berkeley Medical Center in Martinsburg is taking the next step in robotic surgery.

The hospital recently added the da Vinci Xi Surgical System. Berkeley Medical Center President and CEO Anthony P. Zelenka said the robot allows for increased precision while decreasing incision sizes.

“Two of our new operating rooms at Berkeley Medical Center were designed to support this new Xi model da Vinci robot,” Anthony P. Zelenka, president and CEO, said. “The precision of this advanced Xi system means that WVU Medicine is taking surgery to the next level in our region.”

The da Vinci system is manufactured by Intuitive Surgical, Inc. The surgeon sits at an ergonomically-designed console across the room while operating. A team of technicians and nurses remain in the operating room during the procedure.

Other key components include interactive robotic arms, the 3-D HD vision system and wristed instruments.

General Surgeon Dr. Mazin Shackour performed the first hernia repair at Berkeley Medical Center using the da Vinci robot on November 19.

Shackour said they can perform a wide range of surgeries, including heart and prostate, more precisely which means a shorter patient recovery period.

“We are talking about high-definition technology, basically. When I’m operating there and looking at that console there are nerve endings that I can see that you would not be able to visualize on traditional laparoscopic (equipment). That is very important for patient safety and achieving the operation safely.”

Berkeley Medical Center officials plan to expand surgical procedures using the da Vinci robot to include urological, gynecological and thoracic procedures.

“If you see a little, small amount of bleeding it’s so magnified and blown up I bet you will be able to stop it immediately with blood loss. The other specific advantage for this technology is wristed instruments. When you’re operating down in deep pelvic areas, there will be a need for the ability to bend the instrument shaft. Traditional laparoscopic equipment does not have that ability.”

WVU Medicine officials said they ordered five da Vinci robots across their network, including the unit placed in Martinsburg.

“This expansion of our robotic-assisted surgery program here at WVU Medicine East is just another example of how we strive to provide our patients with revolutionary treatments using the latest state-of-the-art technology,” Zelenka said.

The addition of the da Vinci symbolizes a series of recent expansions to both Berkeley Medical Center and Jefferson Medical Center in Ranson.

“We are honored and excited to have been the first health system in our region to offer the Maxor X for robot guided spine surgery and now the da Vinci for various minimally invasive surgical procedures” Zelenka said, adding that in January 2020 Jefferson Medical Center will be the first hospital in the region to introduce the ROSA robot for robotic-assisted knee replacement.

WVU Medicine said the da Vinci robot will not increase the cost of surgical procedures for patients.

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