Metro Health-University of Michigan Health became the first health care system in West Michigan to offer the newest generation of minimally invasive robotic surgery in an outpatient setting.
Metro Health recently acquired two da Vinci Xi robotic systems, which allow smaller incisions, greater precision, fewer complications and less pain for patients. One of the systems will be used at the main hospital in Wyoming. The other system will be available for outpatient procedures at the Health Park East Surgery Center, 4055 Cascade Road SE.
The equipment gives surgeons a 3D view inside the body. Working from a console, surgeons guide precise movement of the robotic system’s tiny instruments, with far greater range of movement than possible with the human hand.
Dr. Ronald Grifka, chief medical officer at Metro Health, said the newest technology builds on a tradition of surgical innovation at Metro Health, which has offered robotic surgery for more than a decade.
“The Xi system is a quantum leap forward in technology,” Grifka said. “Our surgeons are poised to have another advantage in the treatment of our patients.”
Metro Health’s first generation of da Vinci robotics was funded through a donation by local philanthropists Tom and Mickie Fox. The addition of the Xi robotic systems was made possible through a $1 million grant from the Metro Health Hospital Foundation, which covered approximately one third of the cost of two machines.
“We are grateful to the foundation and its donors, who once again are helping our nonprofit health system advance patient care for West Michigan,” Grifka said. “We are especially pleased that we can now offer this option for outpatient procedures.”
The versatility of the Xi system means it can be used in a wide range of procedures, including prostatectomy, other urological surgeries, thoracic surgery, hysterectomy, additional gynecological surgeries, general surgery and ENT procedures.
“This Xi equipment is the latest example of our innovations in minimally invasive procedures, which promote speedier recoveries, reduced pain and less need for narcotics,” Grifka said. “Whenever patients are facing surgery, we are pleased to have options that help them get back to their lives sooner.”
The new Xi system went live on July 29 at the main hospital, and the system at the Health Park East outpatient center was scheduled to go live on Sept. 1. The same surgeons will be using the technology at both sites, and the hospital reported patients treated using these machines experience a quicker road to recovery.
Metro Health already uses robotics for spine surgery via the Mazor X machine it acquired in 2017.
The Mazor X uses a CT-based 3D simulation of the patient’s spine, which allows the surgeons develop an “optimal” plan prior to the operation. Additionally, computer analytics provide precision guidance during surgery.
Metro Health also purchased an additional robotic device that it plans to begin using this fall for early diagnosis of lung cancer. The Ion platform is a robotic-assisted bronchoscopy tool for faster, more accurate and minimally invasive biopsies, and Metro Health again will be the first health system in the region to use it.