North Bay Hospital Gets New High-Tech Sidekick for Its OR
Feb 2, 2024
Sutter Health
Group of medical staff cut red ribbon on new da Vinci Xi surgical robot

Matthew Reitz, director of perioperative services (left), Megan Gillespie, SSRRH CEO (middle) and Dr. Allen Cortez, co-chair of SSRRH’s robotic surgery program, help welcome the new da Vinci Xi surgical robot.

By Jennifer Modenessi, Vitals contributor

There’s a new set of high-tech helping hands at Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital. The acute care hospital welcomed its second da Vinci Xi surgical robot earlier this year at a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The highly anticipated state-of-the-art tool is the result of a 2022 request by the hospital’s medical executive council for another surgical robot, says Megan Gillespie, hospital CEO.

More than 3,200 patients have undergone robotic surgeries at SSRRH since the hospital acquired its first da Vinci Xi robot in 2015. The demand for robotic-assisted surgeries is only growing.

“When assessing our volume and patient access, it was clear our surgeons needed another robot,” said Gillespie, shortly before Matthew Reitz, director of perioperative services, snipped the red ribbon circling the robot’s four arms.

The new da Vinci Xi surgical robot with a red ribbon around its frame

This is Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital’s second da Vinci Xi surgical robot.

More Hands, More Care

Controlled by the movements of a surgeon’s skilled hands, surgical robots offer patients a host of benefits. They allow surgeons to treat a wider range of disease and perform complex surgeries that are minimally invasive, produce less scarring and require less recovery time.

“It’s a great tool and it actually has made my surgeries more efficient,” said Dr. Allen Cortez, co-chair of SSRRH’s robotic surgery program.

Surgical robots are also much more common in operating rooms throughout the country. Last year, robotic surgeries outnumbered laparoscopic surgeries in the U.S. “This is going to become the standard of care,” Cortez said.

Looking At The Future

Since 2015, SSRRH surgeons have performed 3,250 operations with the da Vinci Xi robot, including 2,337 general surgeries, 670 gynecologic procedures and 244 urologic cases. The hospital also has a Mako surgical robot for orthopedic surgeries on hips and knees.

According to Dr. Anup Singh, hospital chief medical executive, the new robot is expected to double the number of robot-assisted surgeries performed annually. The new robot will help Sutter provide excellent care with cutting-edge technology to the local community of Santa Rosa, Dr. Singh said.

With that kind of demand, there won’t be any delay putting the shiny new surgical robot to use. In fact, surgeons have already performed several surgeries using the arrival.

Within the Sutter Health network, specialists offer the latest in minimally invasive and robotic surgery. The integrated health system boasts a fleet of more than 50 surgical robots across more than a dozen of its hospitals and surgery centers.

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