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November 07, 2019

New Robotic Surgery Simplifies, Spares Patient Pain

August 16, 2018


   A surgical system recently acquired by El Centro Regional Medical Center
has proven less invasive, and saves time and medical expense, hospital officials said.


   The robotic da Vinci Xi Surgical System with three-dimensional high definition provides smaller, more precise movements of tiny instruments inside a patient's anatomy. It also offers a highly magnified view to extend a surgeon's view into the patient under care, noted Rosanna Lugo, hospital marketing and volunteer services director.


   "I'm very excited," said physician Elias Moukarzel, hospital chief of staff, who just completed surgery on a diabetic patient on Aug. 13. "It has been almost a decade since we performed surgery with our first robotic technology and this is superior."


   "Most important, patients are aware of the technology and its benefits and are requesting robotic surgery because they've heard it’s less painful," said Moukarzel.


   Moukarzel explained instruments are smaller and access ports to the abdomen were only eight millimeters, while the 3D visualization made views clearer and surgery more precise. With the new robotics his patient had one half the bleeding of the old system and it allowed a safe operation on a large patient who previously would have required losing 60 or more pounds before surgery.


Dr. Elias Moukarzel, ECRMC chief of staff explains the benefits of the

hospital's recent acquisition of the robotic da Vinci Xi Surgical System in El Centro, August 13th.


   "There are more controls under our fingers, easier to see the controls, simpler to dock controls to the patient and the robotics targets itself to the best position for the physician," said Moukarzel. "It makes your life easier."


   The Xi System is adaptable for a majority of general surgeries, including gall bladder or kidney removal, abdominal, pelvic and prostate surgery. It is adaptable to lung, thyroid or neck cancer surgery and can aid in cardiac bypass surgery.


   Moukarzel hopes the Xi system can expand to neuro, joint, orthopedic and sinus surgery with development of still smaller instruments. Not too far off could be remote surgery under the direction of a doctor off site with a trained nurse performing the procedure, he added.


   From an ergonomic point of view the system expands the careers of surgeons because they can  avoid back and neck injury during surgery, he said.


   El Centro Regional is working to give more patients in Imperial County access to the system, Moukarzel added.


   "We're making this technology available to Pioneers (Memorial Healthcare District in Brawley) so it's a savings to the whole community. Then we don't have to support competitive programs and it frees up physicians to focus on other areas such as asthma in the schools," he said.


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