In the 1960’s General Motors first introduced robots in its automobile plants to increase efficiencies and help take on the more dangerous jobs, like welding. In the past 60 years, robots have come a long way and are now ingrained in our everyday lives, playing a large role in manufacturing, service, military tactics, exploration, and even health care.
McLaren Greater Lansing has invested in state-of-the-art surgical equipment with its new hospital, including multiple Intuitive Da Vinci Xi surgical robots, which are the most advanced surgical robots in the market.
The robotic system is operated by a trained surgeon, who controls the movements of the robotic arms and instruments through a computer console. Nicholas St.Hilaire, DO, general surgeon at McLaren Greater Lansing, is one of the many robotic-trained surgeons on staff and just celebrated performing his 1,000th robotic-assisted surgery at the hospital.
“I perform robotic-assisted surgery on patients who need hernia repairs, colon resections, and gallbladder removals,” said Dr. St.Hilaire. “I find that in general my patients have less pain post robotic-assisted surgery and quicker recovery in general with minimally invasive surgery.”
Robotic surgeries can involve smaller incisions than open surgery, because the robotic arms are much smaller than human hands, which can lead to less bleeding, scarring, and pain for the patient. Robotic systems can make more precise movements, which can be especially helpful in delicate or complex surgeries.
“A patient who needs a colectomy is a great candidate for robotic-assisted surgery because I am able to perform it using intracorporeal osmosis, which means I am able to complete the surgery inside the belly without needing to take a part of the colon out of the abdomen,” said Dr. St.Hilaire. “The result is fewer incisions, and therefore scars, which typically leads to less recovery time.”
While robotic-assisted surgery has many potential benefits, it may not be suitable for all patients or all types of surgery. It’s important to discuss with your surgeon if it would be the right approach for you.
“I was trained on robotics during my residency, more than eight years ago, and since that time the technology and training have only gotten better,” said Dr. St.Hilaire. “I don’t see robots going anywhere; in fact, I think they will only become more common in health care.”
About McLaren Greater Lansing
McLaren Greater Lansing, is a tertiary teaching facility with 240 acute care beds, located in Lansing, Michigan on the southern edge of the Michigan State University campus. McLaren Greater Lansing moved to the new hospital building located at the new healthcare campus in Spring 2022. Among its services are a Level III Trauma Center/Emergency Department, Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Institute, comprehensive cardiac programs, medical/surgical units, and state-of-the-art women and children’s health services including a modern birthing center. Also located at the healthcare campus is the Karmanos Cancer Institute at McLaren Greater Lansing and Outpatient Care Center.
Residency programs are affiliated with Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, and the Statewide Campus System. Residencies include family medicine, internal medicine, orthopedic surgery, general surgery, anesthesiology, and obstetrics/gynecology. Fellowships are offered in cardiology, hematology/oncology, gastroenterology, and pulmonary critical care. McLaren Greater Lansing also participates in a city wide residency programs in emergency medicine, neurology, urology, psychiatry, and physical and rehabilitation medicine.