ROBOTIC SURGERY INTRODUCED AT HARRIS HEALTH – LYNDON BAINES JOHNSON GENERAL HOSPITAL (LBJGH)
LBJGH is one of five hospitals across the country participating in a pilot program to determine the viability of using the da Vinci® Surgical System in financially disadvantaged settings. The other participating hospitals include Cook County Health and Hospitals System, Grady Health System, Parkland Hospital, and Bellevue Hospital Center. Perceived advantages of robotic surgery include 3D visualization, wristed instruments, and ease of intra-corporeal suturing. A frequent criticism, however, of robotic surgery is the expense associated with the equipment and operations. This pilot program by Intuitive Surgical is an effort to determine if robotics in a cost-contained environment is feasible. The new robotic surgery program is a natural extension of the Department of Surgery and it’s Division of Minimally Invasive and Elective General Surgery at McGovern Medical School, with its history of training surgical residents, minimally invasive surgery fellows, as well as surgical teams from all over the world in robotic surgery. The goals of the training program at LBJGH is to demonstrate the cost effectiveness of robotic surgery, increase surgical resident involvement and experience in robotic surgery, as well as to serve as a platform for clinical trials to answer key questions with robotic surgery. LBJGH performed its first da Vinci procedure on January 29, 2018. To date, Department of Surgery faculty have performed over 60 robotic procedures at LBJ.