As a dozen young girls entered the robotics suite of Doctors Hospital, their eyes grew wide and gasps of "whoa" and "cool" suddenly burst out. The elementary and middle school aged girls attend after school programs at Girls Inc., a local organization that empowers girls to succeed. They were invited to the hospital to try out the newest robotic surgery addition. The hospital recently received another da Vinci Xi surgical suite, the latest technology used in minimally invasive surgery. The girls had the chance to sit at the console, look through the H-D magnifier and use their hands to work the controls that move the robot's large arms.
Dr. Robert Browning, the chief of surgery at the hospital has used the system to perform more than 100 procedures. He says, "It allows us surgeons to do a multitude of procedures in a minimally invasive way to help the patients recover faster without the need to do a large operation. It allows us to push the envelope of surgery and make it more tolerable than it was five, 10 or 15 years ago." Local surgeons will use the new system for surgeries in gynecology, urology and general surgery.
Back in the surgical suite, many of the young visitors say they hope to one day become doctors and nurses too. Eighth grader Shayla White said field trips like these are inspiring, "It's important to come see it in person because it makes you really feel what your career would be like because if you are just looking in a computer or book you don't really get to see how good you would be at it."