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    BDAACH Enhances Its Surgical Capability Through Robotic Surgical System

    Dr. Friedman demonstrate a robotic-assisted surgery from a surgeon console

    Photo By Inkyeong Yun | The da Vinci system translates the surgeon's hand gestures at the console into...... read more read more



    Story by Inkyeong Yun 

    549th Hospital Center/Brian D. Allgood Army Community Hospital

    CAMP HUMPHREYS, SOUTH KOREA – "It's a win for our patients and our staff!"

    Three years of dedication to activating the robotic surgical system in the Brian D. Allgood Army Community Hospital (BDAACH) finally came to fruition on May 16, 2022. General surgeons in BDAACH recently performed successful robotic-assisted surgeries. With this new capability, many surgical patients may be cared for in BDAACH instead of traveling back to the Stateside or the host nation network hospitals for more complicated surgeries.

    Since the hospital's relocation from U.S. Army Garrison-Yongsan and the opening of the new medical facility in Camp Humphreys in 2019, the surgical department of BDAACH has continued a collective effort to implement this new surgical technology. The effort did not waver even through the pandemic.

    Dr. (Maj.) Alexander Friedman, a general surgeon, who had been spearheading the project since he arrived on the peninsula, shared how rewarding to see the robotics surgeries finally validated in May 2022.

    "It took the team a couple of years to get the equipment required and get everything shipped to Korea. It was a quite more hands-on project than I expected but that makes it more rewarding."

    Friedman recalled the memories of ordering different parts of the robotics system and conducting an inventory of equipment which sometimes made the operating room (OR) staff dive into multiple packages shipped from the States. Friedman shared that all that hard work was possible because the team was determined to provide additional surgical capability that will ultimately increase options and improve patient outcomes.

    "Our team had two firm goals while working to bring this enhanced technology to the facility; first and foremost, better patient experience and second, more training opportunities for the surgeons and OR staff stationed in Korea," said Friedman.

    Patients who undergo robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgery have less blood loss, shorter hospital stays, and faster recovery thanks to the da Vinci surgical system as compared to open surgery. In addition, the da Vinci surgical system provides the surgeon with an advanced set of equipment to employ in performing robotic-assisted minimally invasive surgery. Surgeons may now offer patients more choices of laparoscopic procedures for other specialties such as colorectal, gynecological, and urologic surgeries.

    The da Vinci system translates the surgeon's hand gestures at the console into real-time motion with fully wristed instruments during the procedure with a higher range of motion than standard laparoscopic instruments. The da Vinci vision system also provides a 3 dimension high-definition and magnified view of the operating area. Surgeons can use one or several instruments at a time due to the various tool size.

    Nowadays, majority of surgeons are trained in robotic surgery in their residency programs. All general surgeons at BDAACH are certified to perform robotics surgeries. By having the da Vinci system at BDAACH, the surgeons will be able to maintain and advance their skills. In turn, the OR staff will also receive relevant and updated training in support of robotic surgery.

    Friedman shared that the robot arms do not necessarily make surgeries less complicated. Instead, it gives surgeons an enhanced and consistent operating capability, especially during extended operations. Also, the da Vinci is expected to increase the number of surgeries that the OR can offer since it requires only one surgeon and reduces fatigue.

    In preparation for the validation process, the OR Team made multiple visits to the robotics surgery training Center in Seoul to ensure they are up to date and familiar with the entire processes and procedures. A surgeon proctor from military hospital in CONUS was invited to oversee the program and validate the equipment as well as personnel.

    Friedman shared that the first week of the robotics surgeries went very well. He was happy that BDAACH can offer more surgeries, especially types of surgeries that were not available in the past. He also shared his excitement about the ability to take care of more patients at BDAACH.

    Not every surgery will require robotic surgery, and the first week will primarily consist of general surgery cases. However, the Urology and OB/GYN departments are projected to utilize this equipment in the future on a case by case basis.

    "It feels great to bring this facility up to the level of all the other medical centers in the Army. Now we can offer the same level of care as other military treatment facilities in the States and the level of care you get from the civilian side as well" shared Friedman.

    "We are so pleased to announce that BDAACH can now leverage this cutting-edge medical technology to enhance clinical operations, safety, and satisfaction for both the patients and staff," said Col. Huy Luu, the BDAACH director. "Our number one priority is always our patients. We will ensure the safety and quality of care for our patients while providing our staff with the most up to date training platforms."



    Date Taken: 05.31.2022
    Date Posted: 05.31.2022 00:15
    Story ID: 421811

    Web Views: 481
    Downloads: 1