Door County Medical Center is proud to announce that earlier this February, Dr. Michael St. Jean performed DCMC’s 500th minimally invasive surgery with the da Vinci Xi Surgical System.
The da Vinci Xi is an advanced, robotic computer that uses 3-D technology to assist with surgical operations in two ways: first, by providing the surgeon with a highly magnified view of the procedure via a 3D-HD vision system; second, by translating the surgeon’s movements, through the use of controls, into smaller, more precise movements performed by the robot’s mechanical wrists, which bend and rotate more effectively than a human wrist.
The benefits of minimally invasive surgery
Hopefully, most of us will get through life without needing surgery. However, if we do, the option to undergo minimally invasive robotic surgery comes with a number of benefits—namely, minimally invasive robotic surgery results in faster, less invasive procedures, shorter healing times, and less postoperative pain. All of those benefits also mean shorter hospital stays. “The era of prolonged postoperative hospitalizations,” Dr. St. Jean says, “has been replaced by the realization that through technology, we can deliver advanced surgical procedures with same day return to home.” Indeed, with the da Vinci Xi Surgical Robot, the days of extended postoperative stays at the hospital have become far less common. “The DaVinci Xi robot allows us to complete your surgery through a few small incisions on your abdomen,” remarks Dr. Beth Gaida, Obstetrician-Gynecologist at DCMC’s Women’s Health Center. She adds, “Most often, we’re able to get you home safely on the day of surgery and with less pain. As a result, you can get back to your life more quickly.”
Bringing cutting-edge technology to Door County
The da Vinci Xi Surgical Robot has been safely utilized by skilled surgeons for over 2 decades, and yet, not every hospital offers this technology. “The level and diversity of robotic surgical care available at our community hospital exceeds that of many hospitals in more populated cities across the state,” says Dr. St. Jean. “And, the success of DCMC’s robotic surgical practice,” he adds, “has its foundation in both being able to provide a smaller community with state-of-the-art medical technology while also maintaining personalized, local care.”
The fact that a resident of Sturgeon Bay—a city of roughly 9,000 people—has convenient access to medical technology like the da Vinci Xi Surgical Robot is both unusual and provides numerous additional benefits—outside of the surgical setting—to those patients undergoing advanced surgical procedures. “For example, we’re able to keep the vast majority of benign gynecological surgical patients at DCMC for their surgeries,” notes Dr. Gaida. “This means most women no longer need to travel to and from Green Bay for their surgeries, and keeping patients close to home makes the entire surgical experience better—preoperative evaluation and surgical planning appointments are more convenient, an early morning drive to the hospital on the day of your surgery is 20 minutes instead of an hour, a familiar hospital and nursing staff will help ease your pre-operation jitters, and experienced surgeons who know you best are here to follow you throughout your recovery. There are so many benefits to having surgery close to home.”
Bringing top-notch medical talent to Door County as well
One occasionally overlooked benefit of DCMC’s robotic surgery practice is its ability to bring in surgical talent. Both Dr. Neil Kleman, a general surgeon at DCMC, and Dr. Gaida were drawn to Door County Medical Center specifically because of its robotic surgery practice. “I came to Door County Medical Center in large part because the hospital offered the close-knit small town feel with advanced technology and the da Vinci Robotics surgical platform,” notes Dr. Gaida, “this allows me to offer my patients the newest surgical techniques close to home.” This level of experience and expertise is often hard to find in rural communities. In fact, this past December, Dr. St. Jean, whose practice includes all aspects of minimally invasive surgery, endoscopy, and robotic surgery, as well as years of experience, performed his 1000th surgery with the da Vinci Xi robot.
“For a small hospital, in a relatively isolated setting, Door County Medical Center has a keen grasp on innovation and how it plays a role in medical care,” says Dr. St. Jean. “The development of the robotic program here,” he adds “is certainly a key aspect of how the hospital combines technology and medical care, and that philosophy does not appear often, even in the much larger medical centers where I’ve practiced.”
For more information on Door County Medical Center’s robotic surgery practice please visit us at https://www.dcmedical.org/. For more information on the da Vinci Xi Surgical Robot click here.