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Keesler surgeons perform first robotic surgery in Air Force

Members of the 81st Surgical Operations Squadron perform the first robotic surgery in the Air Force at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi. Using robotic surgery decreases risk of surgical sight infections while giving the surgeon better visibility and dexterity while operating, which improves the overall surgical procedure. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jenay Randolph) Members of the 81st Surgical Operations Squadron perform the first robotic surgery in the Air Force at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi. Using robotic surgery decreases risk of surgical sight infections while giving the surgeon better visibility and dexterity while operating, which improves the overall surgical procedure. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jenay Randolph)

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KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss.Members of the 81st Surgical Operations Squadron performed the Air Force’s first robotic surgery at the Keesler Medical Center here, March 28.

Air Force Maj. Lauren Buck, 81st MSGS general surgeon, and her surgical team performed a robotic ventral hernia repair. Surgeons used the da Vinci Xi robot to perform the surgery which enhances their mobility and range of motion.

Air Force Maj. Lauren Buck, 81st Surgical Operations Squadron general surgeon, and a surgical technician perform a da Vinci ventral hernia repair at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi. This was the first robotic surgery in the Air Force. The robotic system enhances surgeon’s mobility and range of motion. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jenay Randolph)Air Force Maj. Lauren Buck, 81st Surgical Operations Squadron general surgeon, and a surgical technician perform a da Vinci ventral hernia repair at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi. This was the first robotic surgery in the Air Force. The robotic system enhances surgeon’s mobility and range of motion. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jenay Randolph)

The da Vinci Xi robot system, which cost approximately $2 million, translates the surgeon’s hand motions into smaller more precise movements. The robot’s tiny instruments create more internal space inside the patient’s body during the operation. In addition, robotic surgery decreases risk of surgical sight infections while giving the surgeon better visibility and dexterity when operating, which improves the surgical procedure overall.

“My first robotic surgery went well,” said Buck. “It made the surgery easier, visualization was much better, and the da Vinci Xi has more dexterity, which is great.”

“Patient’s safety is paramount and using robotic surgery procedures shortens recovery time, makes the procedure less painful, requires smaller incisions and it is very beneficial for the patient post operation,” said Air Force Col. Constance Jackson, 81st MSGS commander.

The first patient operated on was able to leave the hospital the same day as their surgery.

Although the da Vinci is physically inside the patient performing the operation, the surgeon is 100 percent in control of the system at all times. The robot has a thin tube with a tiny camera on the end sending images to a video monitor in the operating room that guides doctors during surgery.

“Before we would have to outsource our patients to other medical facilities, but now we will be able to perform the surgeries and gain back our population,” said Air Force Lt. Col. Rochelle Haynes, 81st MSGS flight commander. “We are now able to perform more procedures and do less outsourcing.”

Currently, the Defense Department has 22 da Vinci robot systems. Members of the 81st Medical Group will begin training  joint service surgeons at the General Medical Education Institute here next week.

There are 29 surgeons scheduled to attend the training who will each have a nurse and a technician to accompany them. The instructors will teach the surgical teams how to operate the da Vinci robotic system.

“Our mission is to train, teach and treat,” said Air Force 2nd Lt. Nina Hoskins, 81st MSGS registered nurse. “We are training surgeons throughout DoD. We are teaching our residents how to use the equipment and now we are treating our patients to the standard of care of our counterparts all with implementing robotic surgery.”

Disclaimer: Re-published content may have been edited for length and clarity. Read original post.

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