UChicago Medicine Completes 500th Robotic Surgery

The 500th surgery was performed using the da Vinci surgical robot system.

By Vivian He

On April 24, the University of Chicago Medicine’s robotic surgery team successfully completed its 500th cardiac robotic procedure. The patient was discharged two days later and reported herself to be feeling “remarkably good,” according to an account published by Science Life.

This marks a major milestone for the University’s robotic surgery team, led by Husam H. Balkhy, who had joined the faculty at UChicago Medicine just three and half years prior. Balkhy specializes in minimally invasive and robotic cardiac surgery and has been performing “about 125 robot-assisted heart surgeries a year since he joined UChicago Medicine,” according to the Science Life article.

The surgery last month was performed using the da Vinci surgical robot system. The system is designed to perform minimally invasive surgeries by allowing a surgeon’s hand movements to be “translated into smaller, precise movements of tiny instruments inside the patient’s body,” according to the equipment’s website. The equipment is controlled by a surgeon from a console.

Balkhy said that an advantage to operating with this approach is that it avoids many of the complications that usually come with open-chest heart surgery.

Patients treated this way also stay at hospitals for a far shorter period of time post-operation and recover much more quickly when they get home.