The George Washington University Hospital is expanding its robotic services, becoming the first hospital in the world to perform colorectal surgery with the Medrobotics Flex® Robotic System — a robot system designed to navigate the body’s twists and turns. The Medrobotics Flex® Robotic System is the world’s first robotic surgical platform to offer Scarfree™ access to hard-to-reach anatomy in otolaryngology and colorectal procedures.
This week, GW Chief of the Division of Colon and Rectal Surgery Vincent Obias, MD, removed precancerous tissue from a patient using this system.
“GW Hospital is thrilled to be able to better serve our patients by being the first hospital in the world to offer this innovative minimally invasive surgery, designed to decrease effects on our patients,” says Kimberly Russo, Chief Executive Officer/Managing Director for GW Hospital. “As an academic medical center, we are dedicated to advancing medicine through research and technology. This latest milestone is yet another way that we are moving the standard of care higher in the DC region and beyond.”
In addition to colorectal procedures, GW Hospital is using the system for head and neck procedures. The system allows surgeons to reach targets through the mouth and anus. This provides surgeons with treatment options that may not be possible with straight, rigid instruments. Medrobotics is developing new surgical applications for its core platform technology in the areas of general surgery, gynecology, and urology, among others.
“This unique, flexible robot allows us to precisely reach our targets by maneuvering through complex anatomy and limiting incisions,” says Dr. Obias. “By using this approach, patients are more likely to experience quicker recoveries and fewer side effects.”
The use of robotic surgery has a long history at GW Hospital. It was the first in DC to have the da Vinci robot and to use it for prostate cancer surgery. In 2009, GW Hospital became the first in the region to use the da Vinci system for robotic colon and rectal surgery.
This expansion of minimally invasive robotic surgery is one of several groundbreaking offerings at GW Hospital. Earlier this year, GW Hospital became the first hospital in the mid-Atlantic region to offer Precision Virtual Reality™ (VR) technology. The virtual reality system is allowing neurosurgery patients and their surgeons to step into their anatomy, plan more precisely and better understand conditions.