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Florida Hospital first in nation to use robot that surgeons control with their eyes

by Lauren Dubinsky, Senior Reporter | July 27, 2018
Operating Room
TransEnterix's Senhance system
Florida Hospital recently became the first in the nation to use a surgical robot that surgeons can control with their eyes.

"Florida Hospital is focused on finding innovative solutions that improve patient experience, and our investment in robotic surgery reflects that focus.” Dr. Teresa DeBeche-Adams, a colorectal surgeon at the hospital, told HCB News. “Robotic surgery is minimally invasive, so it causes less scarring and pain, and patients recover more quickly, requiring less or no time in the hospital.”

The Senhance robot, which was developed by TransEnterix, is the first new robotic surgical system to receive FDA approval since 2000. According to the company, it’s also the first robotic system that offers haptic feedback.

DeBeche-Adams performed the first procedure on a patient who suffered from bleeding ulcers. Fourteen inches of his small intestine were removed, and he is recovering nicely with minimal pain.

During the procedure, the surgeon sits in an ergonomically comfortable position and can see inside the patient’s body via 3D visualization. Sehance’s optical sensors enable them to move the camera and select commands by moving their eyes.

Several surgeons at Florida Hospital underwent extensive training as part of the FDA approval process and the training continued once the hospital had the system on site.

“Our training ranged from dry lab using peg boards up to cadaver training,” said DeBeche-Adams. “Our goal is to become a training site for the Senhance, so that surgeons can travel here, learn to use the system and take that training back with them to their own hospitals and patients.”

Senhance is currently only approved for gynecological and colorectal procedures, but DeBeche-Adams is confident that it will eventually become a popular option for general surgery.

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