I-Surgery: Training with robotics

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) WDBJ7’s Caitlin Francis was able to experience what it’s like to train like a robotic surgeon using the latest upgrades at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital.

Dr. Farrell Adkins, a surgeon at Carilion, says this kind of technology is part of the future of medicine.

“There’s advantages to the short term in terms of pain control after the surgery, shorter recovery both in the hospital and when they return home. But also an improvement in longer term complication rates as well,” said Dr. Adkins.

Dr. Adkins trained on the robotic technology for hundreds of hours, and has been operating with it for several years.

“Do you play video games?” Francis asked.

“I do,” Adkins responded.

“Does it make it easier?” Francis asked.

“So everyone always says that it makes it easier, but I think as surgeons as a whole, most of us lean toward hand-eye-coordination pretty readily, certainly I think all of us adapt to the technology fairly quickly, and it helps that technology is very intuitive to use,” he said.

He moves quickly and easily, all while sitting feet away from the robotic arms that do the work he tells them to.

“The newest machine has a lot of different upgrades in terms of the overall technology, and it’s allowed a broader range of procedures than what we were able to perform before.”

And they just got an upgrade at Carilion with two of the newest daVinici models in Roanoke, the daVinici xi’s.

Dr. Adkins says the whole point is making things more minimally invasive for the patients. He also says, he prefers robotic surgery.

“Is it fun?” Francis asked. “Oh yeah, it’s definitely fun,” he laughed.