A World First in Minimally Invasive Robotic Surgery Promises a More Cost-Effective, Patiently Friendly Future

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There's a new girl in town and she made her American debut at the side of internationally known laparoscopic surgeon, Dr. Richard Rosenfield. ViKY, as she is affectionately known, is a revolutionary, lightweight robot developed by EndoControl, headquartered in France. With ViKY at his side, Dr. Rosenfield made history by performing the first documented solo, laparoscopic hysterectomy in the world. Significantly, the entire procedure was performed in an outpatient facility, Pearl Women's Center.

Patients want less invasive techniques. Recovery is faster, and many operations can be performed in an outpatient setting where there are lower infection rates, less cost and no need of a hospital stay. In a time of escalating healthcare costs, we should all be concerned with maximizing efficiency while improving patient care.

There's a new girl in town and she made her American debut at the side of internationally known laparoscopic surgeon, Dr. Richard Rosenfield. ViKY, as she is affectionately known, is a revolutionary, lightweight robot developed by EndoControl, headquartered in France. With ViKY at his side, Dr. Rosenfield made history by performing the first documented solo, laparoscopic hysterectomy in the world. Significantly, the entire procedure was performed in an outpatient facility, Pearl Women's Center.

Dr. Rosenfield is no stranger to robotic surgery. In 2005, he was the first gynecologic surgeon in the Pacific Northwest to use the DaVinci system, a much larger, more costly system in use at some hospitals. His well-known expertise in this area made him EndoControl's choice to be the first surgeon in the US to utilize ViKY.

Advances in technology have led to amazing new capabilities in medicine. Unfortunately, they have frequently added significant costs. These costs, in turn, have been a roadblock to widespread adoption of potentially lifesaving technology. ViKY bucks that trend through improved efficiencies, lightweight portability and comparatively low price point.

To date, robotic surgery devices have required additional operating room personnel with very special skills for a successful surgical outcome. Generally one surgeon performs the surgery from a remote console, and one assists at the patient bedside to assist the robot which contains the camera or endoscope and working arms. "What is significant about today's surgery," explains Dr. Rosenfield, "is that new robotic equipment eliminated the need for a second surgeon and allowed me to perform a complex surgery relying only on myself. The surgery was completed in 2 hours and I was able to remove a large uterus with 4 tiny incisions. The patient was home with no restrictions 3 hours after surgery. She can return to work in just a few days."

"My hope is the innovation and portability offered by ViKy will lead to more widespread adoption of minimally invasive techniques. This is the first robotic system priced within the reach of less affluent rural hospitals and many outpatient surgery centers," said Dr. Rosenfield. "Patients want less invasive techniques. Recovery is faster, and many operations can be performed in an outpatient setting where there are lower infection rates, less cost and no need of a hospital stay. In a time of escalating healthcare costs, we should all be concerned with maximizing efficiency while improving patient care."

About Dr. Richard Rosenfield
Dr. Richard Rosenfield is the founder and Medical Director of Pearl Women's Center in Portland, Oregon. He is a board certified gynecologist and a pioneer in minimally invasive gynecologic surgery. He has taught his techniques to other surgeons in the US and abroad. Dr. Rosenfield's passion for teaching and education has most recently led him to develop an online community and surgical video archive for surgeons,http://www.surgiview.org.

About EndoControl
EndoControl is a worldwide leader in computer assisted and robotics surgery. ViKY (Vision Control in endoscopY), the most compact laparoscopic robot available on the market, received FDA approval in December 2008. To date 300 procedures have been performed with the ViKY system in Europe in gynecology, general surgery, urology and thoracic surgery. http://www.endocontrol-medical.com.

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Athena Maris
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