Patients need less painkillers after robotic surgery at LewisGale Montgomery

BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) LewisGale Montgomery just celebrated the one year anniversary of having the da Vinci Robotic Surgical system.

A surgeon uses remote controls to operate the robot above the patient and 3D cameras to see what's inside the patient. Dr. Jason Fowlkes says robotic surgery significantly reduces the pain level of patients after surgery. With less the pain, patients are no longer being prescribed opioids or other pain-killers that could become addicting.

"That's really a huge thing, I mean especially in 2018 where we're talking so much about the opioid crisis and we're trying to address [the problem] nationally," Dr. Fowlkes explained. "To be able to decrease a patients pain scale to the point where they might not even need narcotics at all post-operatively, is a huge benefit."

The da Vinci robot is also at other LewisGale and Carilion hospitals.