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Geneva University Hospital Buys Robot Surgeons

The Geneva University Hospital system (HUG) is opening a school for robotic abdominal surgery in a bid to become a center of excellence for new medical and operating table techniques.

Robots are used in micro-invasive surgery, which does not require large sutures. This type of mini surgery means patients are not cut wide open, with their organ(s) exposed, like in Emergency Room.

The Da Vinci robot, built by the private company American Intuitive Surgical, is used in abdominal and urological surgery. The first training courses at the specialized center took place under the direction of Prof. Philippe Morel of the visceral surgery group at the HUG.

The Geneva University Hospital is seeking to train roughly 80 surgeons per year with the new technique. To this end, Geneva Hospital to Use Robots

they’ve bought another robot and will be teaching the procedure using two cadavers.

Some critics of the university hospital system are saying the cadavers are actually ex-patients from previously unsuccessful operations.

Robotic surgical procedures allow via a doctor to prepare his operation in fine detail using a simulation program in the robot.

From the patient’s perspective, the technique reduces the possibility of errors or complications and reduces the overall cost of the procedure (as well as reducing the number of days spent in hospital), pleasing both the Insurance companies who get lower bills, and patients who have less anxiety over inebriated surgeons.

Geneva has larger ambitions with the program, hoping to become a sort of hi-tech center for robotic surgical techniques. Serge Serro, the president of Federation des Nouvelles Technologies, points out that Romandy has specific competencies in micro technologies and which he believes can be leveraged, along with fruitful associations with other university hospitals.

The HUG has invested several million francs in the new robotic equipment, which has high-resolution 3-dimensional vision and provides highly detailed medical imaging, most of which was financed by gifts from patients to the HUG.

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