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Spectrum Health Big Rapids Hospital upgrades robotic surgery system

A new robotic-assisted surgical system debuted at Spectrum Health Big Rapids Hospital Tuesday, increasing capabilities for the surgical staff in providing state-of-the-art care for area patients.

The da Vinci Xi system is the next generation of technology and gives surgeons more flexibility and reach, advanced visualization and integrated table motion that moves in sync with the robot.


The system was purchased late last year, but it’s implementation was delayed due to COVID-19.

“This is definitely a game changer for surgery here in Big Rapids,” said general surgeon Mark Haan, MD. “This upgrade places Big Rapids on the forefront of minimally invasive surgery and being able to provide this type of surgery to the people of our community provides so many benefits.”

Those benefits include less postoperative pain, quicker recovery time, and in most cases no need for postoperative narcotic/opiate pain medications, Dr. Haan said.

Dr. Haan, along with general surgeon Lisa Price, DO, have used the previous da Vinci system since 2017.

Common procedures for robotic surgery include gallbladder removal, hernia repair, colon resections and hysterectomies.
The da Vinci system enables the surgeon to operate through a few small incisions, like traditional laparoscopy, but instead of directly manipulating the instruments, the surgeon uses da Vinci’s multiple arms to translate hand movements into smaller, meticulous movements of tiny instruments inside the patient’s body.

The surgeon sits at a console, looking at a high definition, 3D image of the surgical site captured by a tiny endoscope camera on one of the device’s arms. The system provides the surgeon with enhanced vision, precision and control.

“This remarkably sophisticated equipment opens up techniques that can be of great benefit to our patients,” Dr. Price said. “It is capable of precise and minute movements and flexibility beyond what the human hand can do.”

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