The da Vinci Surgical System comes to Riverwood

From left, Dr. Andrew Loveitt, Dr. Howard McCollister, Dr. Paul Severson, Dr. Tim LeMieur & Dr. Shawn Roberts

The skill of surgeons meets the precision of 21st century technology. Riverwood Healthcare Center has recently added the most advanced robotic surgical system—the da Vinci® Xi System—to its comprehensive list of surgical services.

This leading-edge robotic surgical system allows surgeons to perform some complex minimally invasive surgical procedures with a higher degree of precision. Examples of procedures where the robotic technology can be used include upper and lower gastrointestinal operations and many types of hernia repair.

The team of general surgeons, Dr. Tim LeMieur, Dr. Andrew Loveitt, Dr. Howard McCollister, Dr. Shawn Roberts and Dr. Paul Severson, at Riverwood are experienced in using the latest minimally invasive procedures and technology, and they perform these procedures at the Minnesota Institute for Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIMIS) in Aitkin and Crosby.

“The da Vinci surgical robot is an additional tool that allows our surgical team to bring more flexibility, a higher degree of precision, and improved patient outcomes to some of the minimally invasive operations that we perform every day,” said Dr. Loveitt, who led the implementation and training for the new surgery system at Riverwood. “The benefits for patients include shorter hospital stays, less blood loss, less need for narcotic medications, fewer complications, and a faster return to normal activities.”

The da Vinci surgical system empowers surgeons to perform complex operations using its four robotic arms. This technology takes surgery beyond the limits of the human hand and provides surgeons with greater precision and control, as well as access to hard-to-reach areas.

The da Vinci is powered by robotic technology that allows the surgeon’s hand movements to be translated into smaller, precise movements of tiny instruments inside the patient’s body. The surgeon is in complete control of the robotic system at all times. Visualization inside the body is accomplished by a state-of-the-art video system, which provides a 3-dimensional, high-definition view inside the body revealing a crystal-clear, magnified view of the procedure area.

“Acquiring the latest generation of robotic technology aligns directly with Riverwood’s commitment to advancing healthcare and giving patients access to the latest in surgical technology without having to travel out of the area,” added Riverwood CEO Todd Sandberg. “As the field of medical robotics gains momentum nationwide, this revolutionary technology will also help recruit surgeons to our health care system in the years ahead. It’s an investment in our patients and in our community.”

“For this size community to have our advanced level of medical expertise and technology is amazing,” Sandberg said. “Our outstanding people, including the general surgeons and our surgical services team of nurses, nurse anesthetists and surgical technologists, make moving ahead with a new technology advancement like this one possible.”

The first robotic-assisted surgeries were performed at Riverwood in late February.