Robotics in the Operation Room

Lakeview Regional Medical Center in Covington recently performed the first robotic-assisted gastric sleeve surgery on the Northshore. On June 6, 2014, Dr. Ruary O’Connell completed three robotic assisted sleeve gastrectomies with the medical center’s most advanced technology.

The gastric sleeve procedure is a surgical weight-loss procedure in which the stomach is reduced to about 25 percent of its original size. This is achieved by surgically removing a large portion of the stomach. The result of the surgery is a sleeve or tube-like stomach, as the procedure permanently reduces the size of the stomach.

“This surgery is a huge breakthrough for patients suffering from obesity that have otherwise not been able to achieve their weight loss objectives,” states Dr. O’Connell. “It gives the surgeon unparalleled precision, dexterity and 3-D vision, making it a more precise operation with better outcomes.”

Gastric sleeve surgery is generally performed laparoscopically (another form of minimally invasive surgery), but Dr. O’Connell now uses the most advanced technology available to a surgeon by performing the procedures on Lakeview Regional Medical Center’s da Vinci® Si System.

This advanced technology, using four robotic arms and a magnified 3D high-definition vision system, provides surgeons with unparalleled precision, control and access to hard-to-reach areas, allowing complex operations to be performed through just a few small incisions. Doctors have used the da Vinci System successfully worldwide in approximately 1.5 million various surgical procedures to date.

As an alternative to open surgery, the da Vinci robot provides many benefits for the patient, including less pain, fewer side effects, minimal scarring, a reduced risk of infection, a shorter hospital stay (usually about 24 hours) and a quicker return to normal daily activities.

Gastric sleeve surgery is generally suitable for people who are severely overweight or morbidly obese and who have not been able to lose weight with diet, exercise or medicine. This type of procedure is generally considered when a patient’s body mass index (BMI) is 40 or higher.

Dr. O’Connell has been a pioneer in many of the weight loss procedures currently being offered in the field of weight loss surgery and has performed nearly 5,000 surgical cases. He has practice locations on both the Northshore and south shore.

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