The USC Verdugo Hills Hospital has acquired a da Vinci Surgical System Robot for minimally invasive, robotic-assisted prostatectomies. Mike Nguyen, MD, MPH, associate professor of clinical urology, and Rene Sotelo, MD, professor of clinical urology at Keck Medicine of USC, will be on-site to perform the surgeries. The hospital performed its first robotic prostatectomy on Jan. 28 and has two more procedures scheduled in February.

“The USC Institute of Urology is a pioneer in robotic surgery, and we are thrilled to offer our patients at Verdugo Hills this cutting-edge treatment option,” Nguyen said. “Our commitment to personalized care using the most innovative practices is what makes the USC Institute of Urology a leader in the treatment of prostate cancer.”

The da Vinci Surgical System, manufactured by Intuitive Surgical, Inc., offers patients a treatment option that often results in incisions of less than one inch, less pain and medication, minimal scarring, reduced bleeding, shorter hospital stays and decreased recovery time as compared to traditional prostatectomies.

The surgeon is in complete control of the device throughout the prostatectomy. The surgical system includes a three-dimensional, high-definition view inside the patient, which the surgeon uses to guide wristed, robotic instruments that bend and rotate with greater range than the human hand. This results in improved vision, precision and control over procedures performed by hand by even the most meticulous surgeon.

Urologists at Keck Medical Center of USC perform more robotic surgeries than any other hospital on the West Coast. Inderbir Gill, MD, founding executive director of the USC Institute of Urology, was among the first surgeons in the country to perform a robotic-assisted prostatectomy with the da Vinci system in the late 1990s. Keck Medical Center’s status as a university-based medical center has attracted a number of surgeons and physicians looking to be trained in robotic-assisted surgery.

“The capabilities of the da Vinci robotic surgical system, while impressive, are only as effective as the surgeon driving the machine,” Gill said. “Patients at USC Verdugo Hills can rest assured that not only do they have access to the most sophisticated medical devices, but also the most sophisticated medical minds and the most skilled surgical hands.”

— Mary Dacuma