da Vinci Robot Arrives at The Med

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It's a year in the making and the College Station Medical Center couldn't be more pleased. On Friday, The Med unveiled their new da Vinci S Surgical System.

It is the Brazos Valley's first robotically assisted surgical program that lets doctors perform laparoscopic surgery with the smallest incision possible.

First used in urological surgeries, the robot is transforming how many other speciality surgeries are performed. The two-part da Vinci System lets doctors make considerable smaller, more precise incisions on the body.

It's an investment of over a million-and-a-half dollars that will allow patients to undergo their surgeries and return to their normal lives faster.

The Med's OB/GYN, Dr. Jennifer Blasingame, says using the surgical robot can cut down a hysterectomy patient's stay and recovery by days and weeks.

"You would have probably 18 hours in the hospital maybe a day and a half," Blasingame said. "And then you would probably be back to work within one to two weeks."

The Med is only the 26th hospital in Texas to offer the technology and about the 300th nationwide.

Dr. John Cochran, the Med's Director of Robotic Surgery, says robotics is a growing trend in medicine. He believes that surgical robots will impact almost every surgical speciality.

Currently 45 percent of all radical prostate surgeries in the nation are performed by robotics. Cochran says part of the reason that is because it provides patients with a better outlook on their surgery.

"Shorter hospital stays, far less blood loss, better tumor control, less impotency which is a common complication as well as less incontinence which is another common complication," Cochran said.

With the arrival of the surgical robot, patients who chose to have the robotic arms used in their procedures won't have to travel to Dallas, Houston, or Austin. Surgery by the da Vinci Robot will be available at The Med by the end of the year.