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General Surgery Completes First Robotic Surgery

general surgery staff in front of davinci robot
General Surgery service staff in front of the Davinci Xi robot. The robot was recently used by the staff section to complete its first robotic surgery case, a Lap Chole for gallstones.

In a facility first, medical staff with the General Surgery service have successfully completed their first robotic surgery case for the Detroit VA, a Lap Chole for gallstones.

Though the technology has been in place for several years and has been used by other services such as GYN, Urology, Thoracic and Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT), the robot, a Davinci Xi, had not been previously used by General Surgery staff for any medical procedures.

Surgery staff who use the robotic equipment must undergo specialty training to ensure they are equipped to operate it safely and accurately, but surgical staff are excited to operate the robot.

“This surgery is very common in the private sector and Veterans are very happy we’re able to offer this technology,” said Steve Corl, RN with General Surgery. “We’re excited to continue offering this service for eligible Veteran patients.”

Veterans who have gallstones are eligible and a referral is not required but interested Veterans should schedule an appointment with their Primary Care Manager to determine if surgery is the most appropriate option for their medical needs.

The surgery itself removes the gallbladder via several small incisions and, according to the National Institutes of Health, is one of the most commonly performed general surgeries worldwide. It can also be used for hernias. Though recovery time is similar to other related procedures, it can potentially reduce post-surgery pain, have lower risk of infection and blood loss, as well as leaving smaller scars.

As the Detroit VA continues to expand offerings and access, Veterans who are not yet enrolled in the Detroit VA healthcare system may register for care online on the Detroit VA’s Register for Care page.