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Robot renders big help in urinary surgery

The introduction of a robot called the da Vinci Surgical System into the FAHZU has worked out wonders for many patients,especially those who had their kidney tumors or prostatic cancer excised.

In the past, the kidney would often have to be removed altogether with the tumors inside it, "but now we could save the kidney, with the help of the da Vinci robot," said Xia Dan, director of the Hospital's Center for Urological Robotic Surgery.

Xia noted that the robotic surgical system enables precision operations as it provides a much clearer vision, and its "hand", capable of complicated movements, is even more dexterous than the human hand, particularly in narrow spaces.

"What's more," she said, "the robotic hand has a stabilizer and it won't tremble and accidentally scratch nerves or blood vessels."

After its introduction in September 2014, the robot has helped perform surgical operations on a huge number of patients. In 2015 alone, Xia's urological robotic surgery center performed 551 operations, which is a national record.

While more of the functions related to the kidney, internal secretion, urinary continence and sexual ability could be saved in the robot-aided operations, Xia said chances of abdominal infection are also "greatly reduced".

However, the reduced incidence of abdominal infection in the operations that cut off part of the kidney should be more attributed to a new technique jointly developed by Xia and Wang Shuo, another surgeon with the Center for Urological Robotic Surgery.

Worldwide, such an operation, which is called the laparoscopic partial nephrectomy, adopts the intraperitoneal approach, but Xia and Wang  uses the extraperitoneal approach, which effectively avoids surgical apparatuses' interruptions to the body parts inside the abdomen.

By now, Xia's center has performed at least 190 extraperitoneal operations within a year, leading the whole nation in the number of operations  in urinary surgery with the application of a da Vinci robot.
















In this photo, Director Xia Dan of the robotic surgery centersits at a da Vinci robot before performing an operation.(Photo by the FAHZU Publicity Center)

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