Robots will perform surgery at St. Francis

By Taylor Barnhill  - bio | email

COLUMBUS, GA (WXTX) -  St. Francis Hospital is taking steps to be a leader in surgical technology and they just announced the addition of a new piece of equipment that is taking them in that direction. This $1 million piece of equipment can do more for your health than you can ever imagine.

"It's really beyond a piece of equipment, it's really a commitment to develop a center of excellence around robotic surgery and investing in the recruitment of physicians specially trained in robotic technology as well as training physicians in our own community. To do that, you need the robotics system from da Vinci which we'll get later this summer," said St. Francis President and CEO Robert Granger.

The state of the art technology acts as an extra set of hands for doctors and shows parts of the human body the naked eye can't see.

"In addition to having a console to sit at which cuts out the fatigue factor of standing all day, you have the ability to use your fingers to improve the dexterity and be able to use the robot and the instruments attached to the robot in an effective way," explained Dr. O. Lawrence Stitt, OB/GYN Physician Partner.

Dr. Stitt adds, the biggest perk of the surgical robot it what it will mean for the patients who have to undergo surgery, "We no longer have to make an incision in the abdomen from the belly button all the way up to the chest. We can perform surgery, a minimally invasive surgery, which is important because patients can go home the very next day."

Granger also said, "It allows for shorter stays, less blood loss, less risk of infection and as a result it's a much shorter recovery time for the patients."

The robot will be able to assist in a variety of surgeries including: gynecology, urology, colorectal and ear, nose and throat.

"If we have a robot in town, those individuals with various specialties will see Columbus as a place they want to come and offer service and I think with St. Francis being one of the leaders in Columbus, it's the perfect place to have it," Dr. Stitt told News Leader Nine.

The da Vinci Surgical Robot will be the only equipment of its kind in the area -- keeping patients who would normally have to drive to Atlanta for procedures, in Columbus. The robot should be fully operational before the end of the summer.

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