IDAHO FALLS, Idaho - Mountain View Hospital in Idaho Falls is using the DaVinci robot to help surgeons operate.
The hospital has used the machine for a few years to do multiple incision surgeries, but now they are using the DaVinci for single site incision operations.
Surgeons performed a gallbladder removal with a single incision using the DaVinci Robot. Gallbladder removal is typically performed with multiple incisions with a recovery time of around six weeks.
"It allows you a third arm, so you can rely on yourself and visualize yourself instead of relying on an assistant to do it for you," said Mountain View Hospital general surgeon, Dr. David Chamberlain.
The DaVinci robot is an enhancement of laparoscopy.
"From a general surgery standpoint, we choose to use the DaVinci when we're working in a very small space and need fine-wristed motion," said Dr. Eric Baird, a general surgeon at Mountain View Hospital.
"We do lots of different operations. Gynecological operations, urologic operations, general surgery operations, anti-reflux, colon work, colon operations," said Chamberlain.
The DaVinci provides patients with a minimally invasive operation, faster recovery and little scarring.
Baird performed the first gallbladder removal in Eastern Idaho using a single site incision on an 18 year old student at BYU-Idaho.
"It was scary because I knew they didn't do it on gallbladders before, but then they told me it was called the DaVinici, and I'm an art major so I was like it's DaVinci. DaVinci is my hero, okay let's get it out," said Rebecca Snow.
Surgeons sit in a console. Using three-dimensional vision they control the DaVinci with their hands and feet.
"The robotic arms do pretty much what your hands are doing," said Baird.
The learning curve for some surgeons is not very steep.
"It's almost like a video game," said Chamberlain.
Snow said she was able to leave the hospital and walk the same day as her surgery.
One month after her operation, "I feel great. I feel normal. I'm not having pain anymore," said Snow.
Patients choose if they prefer an operation to be performed with the DaVinci instead of traditional laparoscopy.
Hospital administrators say surgeries performed using the DaVinci do not cost more than traditional laparoscopy.
Baird and Chamberlain added as with any operation, surgery with the DaVinci also has risks.
More information can found at Mountain View Hospital.