“Rosie,” as she has been named by the hospital staff, is a robotic surgeon designed by NASA, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the Stanford Research Institute and the U.S. Army. She spent much of the afternoon giving demonstrations to curious onlookers, some of whom were children who acted as though they were playing a video game.
One could see how a surgeon would find ‘Rosie’ quite helpful because of the simplicity at which she seems to operate. Rosie has two handles which hold two fingers from a surgeon’s hand. Looking through a lens (somewhat resembling the one a person would look at taking a driver’s test) a surgeon may move Rosie’s hands in positions that a person’s hands would be incapable of moving. During the demonstration Thursday, the nurses and others who took turns using ‘Rosie’ could look through the lens and pick up a small rubber band and easily move it to where it would fit on top of a small metal bar.
‘Rosie’ was designed by a company called da Vinci Surgical Systems - Third Generation. According to Michael Bowen, a spokesman for the company, the machine is ‘the latest in robotic surgery.’
So far Crowley, Lafayette (which has two), Lake Charles and Opelousas are the only cities in south Louisiana who possess such a device.
The device will be used mainly by surgeons treating women with gynecologic conditions, mainly hysterectomies.
The system is designed to provide surgeons with enhanced capabilities, including high-definition 3D vision and a vagnified view. The doctor controls the da Vinci System, which translates into his or her hand movements into smaller, more precise movements of tiny instruments inside the body. Thogh it is often called a “robot,” the system cannot act on its own. Instead, the surgery is performed entirely by the doctor.
Together the system’s technology allows the doctor to perform complex procedures through just a few tiny openings. As a result, the patient may be able to get back to life faster without the usual recovery following major surgery.
The system has been used successfully in hundreds of thousands of procedures to date.