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Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center


Da Vinci Surgical System adds precision, speeds recovery for

daVinci robot

Dr. Sandip Prasad shows how the da Vinci robot works. This technology will cut down Veteran patient recovery times.

By Jenny Stripling
Monday, March 4, 2013

CHARLESTON, SC—The Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center performed its first minimally-invasive robotic surgery in January, and will provide future urological and other procedures for Veterans in the Lowcountry.

The DaVinci robot at the Charleston VA is the most advanced robotic surgery equipment of this type in the greater Charleston area.  With enhanced visualization, dual console capabilities, as well as simulation, this breakthrough surgical technology allows surgeons at the VAMC to perform minimally invasive surgery for complex procedures. 

“I was very happy to hear the Charleston VA was planning to acquire the DaVinci system for the Veterans we care for,” said Dr. Sandip Prasad.  “The robot has demonstrated decreased blood loss, shorter hospital stays, less post-operative pain and quicker recovery compared with open surgery.”

The DaVinci uses small incisions to introduce miniaturized wristed instruments and a high-definition 3D camera.  Seated comfortably at the DaVinci console, surgeons view a magnified, high-resolution 3D image of the surgical site.

At the same time, robotic and computer technologies scale, filter and seamlessly translate a surgeon's hand movements into precise micro-movements of the DaVinci instruments.  The system must be programmed by the surgeon which ensures every surgical maneuver is performed with direct input from surgeons. The DaVinci robot has been used in tens of thousands of procedures worldwide.  

“We are very pleased that our Veterans are able to now benefit from this technology,” said Prasad.  “It’s a great step that we can continue to offer the best technology available to build on that success.  

The VAMC is excited to offer this advanced surgery technology to Veterans patients for their care.  Technological advances, such as the DaVinci, continue to help us serve our Veteran patients more efficiently and quickly.


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