First Robotic Surgery Performed at Beaumont Hospital, Troy


Beaumont Hospital, Troy now has the da Vinci Si® Surgical System, the newly refined, most-up-to-date robotic surgery system. Today, Kenneth Kernen, M.D., director of Urology, and Jason Hafron, M.D., urologist, performed a laparoscopic robotic prostatectomy, the hospital's first minimally-invasive surgery using the da Vinci system.

"The robot is an enhancement to our already successful multidisciplinary prostate cancer program," says Dr. Kernen. "It combines the knowledge and skills of the surgeon with precise manipulation of surgical instruments," he says. "It has transformed surgery for prostate cancer because of the technical and clinical advantages in terms of visual magnification and refinement in an area that can be difficult to operate on using traditional techniques."

By enhancing precision, robotic surgery can improve surgical outcomes by reducing trauma to the body, blood loss, the need for transfusions and post-operative pain and discomfort. Robotic surgery can also result in a shorter hospital stay and a faster recovery and return to normal daily activities when compared with traditional open surgery.

All three Beaumont hospitals offer various types of robotic surgeries with da Vinci systems. Beaumont, Troy will initially perform robotic urologic surgeries, later expanding to thoracic, gynecologic and colorectal surgeries.

"The high-definition, 3-D vision provides superior clinical capability, while the new technology will allow us to perform single-incision urologic surgery." says Dr. Hafron.

Surgeons operate the robot while seated comfortably at a console while viewing a 3-D image of the surgical field. The surgeon's fingers grasp the master controls below the 3-D image with hands and wrists naturally positioned relative to his eyes. The system translates the surgeon's hand, wrist and finger movements into precise, real-time movements of surgical instruments inside the patient.

Many surgical procedures performed today using standard laparoscopic technique (minimally invasive surgery where a camera and surgical instruments are inserted through a small incision) may be performed more easily and with better technique using a robotic surgical system.

This is possible because robotics increases clinical precision while maintaining much of the look and feel of open surgery, allowing the surgeon to perform more complex procedures through incisions approximately seven to 10 millimeters wide, or as small as a button on a man's shirt.

"We are very excited to have robotic technology at Beaumont, Troy," says Roger Howard, M.D., senior vice president and medical director. "Our patients will benefit from having highly-trained physicians with access to advanced surgical equipment to provide them a safer and potentially quicker recovery time."

Opened in 1977, Beaumont, Troy is a 394-bed, acute care community teaching hospital that ranks among the nation's highest-volume community hospitals for admissions and surgeries. Beaumont, Troy is a Magnet-designated hospital for nursing excellence. Health care consultant Thomson Reuters has named the hospital seven times as among the nation's "100 Top Hospitals. Visit Beaumont's Web site at

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