SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — We hear about advances in medicine all of the time.
Dr. Mike Janicek of Arizona Oncology is using one of them. He has performed over 1,000 surgeries using the da Vinci surgical robot.
At Scottsdale Healthcare Thompson Peak, he used the system recently to perform a hysterectomy. He was standing several feet away from the patient at a control center where he directs every movement of the machine’s robotic arms.
“The actual robot is hanging over the patient,” Janicek said. “It’s not truly a robot in the sense that there’s nothing automated. It just mimics my hand motion.”
The machine has miniature cameras that produce a 3-D image of the patient, which Janicek sees by putting his eyes up to a viewer. Hand and foot controls allow him to operate the machine.
“You see more,” Janicek said. “You see smaller things and have a finer motor control and can do finer type of surgeries.”
Once the woman’s uterus was removed, Janicek allowed me to take a look. I could see everything clearly, including the instruments that an assistant who was standing next to the patient was using to irrigate the patient.
Janicek said the da Vinci was developed by the military to allow doctors who are stateside to operate on soldiers who were injured in battle overseas. One drawback is that it used satellite technology that had a three second delay, meaning the surgeon wasn’t seeing what the machine was doing in real time.
Janicek said there have been cases where doctors in London used the machine to treat patients in Paris.
Janicek said the da Vinci lets surgeons use smaller incisions on their patients, who return home two days sooner and are back to work two weeks sooner than they would have been using other methods.
Critics said the da Vinci adds about $2,000 dollars to the cost of surgery. But Janicek disagrees.
“A study of about 440 hospitals shows that the costs are the same. Once you have efficiency, and you’re doing a lot of high volume, and you’re good at it, then the costs come down as you’re more efficient, patients go home sooner, and there’s less time in the operating room.”
He also disputes claims that it takes too long to do a hysterectomy using the machine.
“We’ve been doing this for about 50 minutes, and the uterus is out,” Janicek said. “That compares to the 2 hours and 53 minutes on average that some studies say that it takes doctors to do the operation with the daVinci. “They’re doing something wrong,” said Janicek. “I don’t know what’s taking them so long to do a hysterectomy, but maybe they should come watch us do some.”
When we asked him if the da Vinci surgical robot is the wave of the future, Janicek said that the future is now.
“The robot shines for the difficult cases. The oncology cases. It makes the difference between the possible and the impossible.”
Related Links: OB/GYNs told robot hysterectomy not best option
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.
- 6 of the biggest skin cancer myths
- Affordable small home makeover ideas
- Locals helping locals: 6 success stories you need to know about
- Sunscreen facts that could save your life
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Overlooked water tips to save you money
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food
- 5 spring cleaning spots everyone forgets
- 5 reasons to look forward to watching the D-backs this season
- Common virus attributed to spike in head and neck cancers
- 5 signs it’s time to end your timeshare ownership
- 3 most overlooked ways to keep your home healthy
- 6 ways the air in your home could be making you sick
- CrossFit dangers: 5 common injuries and how to deal with them
- Today's radiation treatments offer better success, fewer side effects
- Tips to make watching TV on the patio even better
- What really happens when you donate to a community college?
- Sun and skin cancer: Separating fact from fiction
- 5 critical lifestyle changes for a healthy colon