BWH’s new simulator is a fully operational da Vinci Surgical System console, identical to the actual units currently used in BWH’s operating rooms. The simulator is available for surgeons to use in the hospital’s STRATUS Center for Medical Simulation 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This provides BWH surgeons with a unique opportunity to hone their skills and raises the bar of safety for robotic-assisted surgery.
“Safe robotic surgeons must become one with their operative console, so that the patient-side robot truly functions as an extension of their own body,” said Antonio Rosario Gargiulo, MD, the medical director of the Center for Robotic Surgery at BWH. “This state-of-the-art simulator should give our patients confidence that their surgeon is always a technically competent robotic surgeon. Data suggests that complications from robotic surgery are less common beyond the early adoption phase by surgical teams. At Brigham and Women’s Hospital, we have made an ethical choice: we want our surgeons to have every possible opportunity to learn, practice and improve their skills in a simulation laboratory environment, so that they are always ready to give their technical best in real surgery.”
Brigham and Women’s Hospital surgeons have successfully performed more than 2,000 robotic-assisted surgeries since 2002. Many of BWH’s veteran surgeons have worked on three consecutive generations of the current FDA-approved robotic system and are regarded as key opinion leaders in their fields. BWH’s commitment to robotic surgery safety dates to the infancy of its robotic surgery program when a Robotic Steering Committee was established to define the most responsible approach to robotic surgery. Additionally, BWH was one of the first hospitals in the nation to adopt a stringent training and credentialing process for robotic surgeons and an internal Robotic Surgery Safety Committee is charged with the technical oversight of quality control and enforcing maintenance and certification processes.
Robot-assisted surgeries are performed through small skin incisions or through natural orifices and, compared to conventional surgery, offer shorter recovery time and overall better outcomes for patients.
Brigham and Women’s Hospital