Your Family

Feb 10, 2010 11:56 PM by Carina Corral

Local woman talks about surgery using a robotic surgeon

Seeing Karon Cushing sitting up in her hospital bed and joking with visitors, it is hard to imagine just hours before she went under the knife, undergoing a hysterectomy.

" I already got up, walked around. Did all those things. I could go home right now, but I don't have a ride," joked Cushing, the first patient in San Luis Obispo County to have a robot-assisted surgery.

da Vinci is the newest member of Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center's surgical team. It is a $2 million surgical tool.

" The robot is not autonomous. It translates the hand commands of the surgeon into the movements of the instruments," said Dr. Kurt Haupt, an OB-GYN who assisted with the surgery.

Through the use of hand and foot controls, and with the help of a 3-D image, surgeons direct da Vinci's movements inside the patient.

Doctors said one of the biggest benefits to da Vinci is that it requires a smaller incision, typically about 1 cm, resulting in a faster recovery time for patients.

Traditionally, surgeries require a 12-14 cm incision.
Although the cuts are smaller, doctors are able to operate like it is an open surgery, with full range of motion.

" It translates into a much more natural, precise surgical approach," said Dr. Haupt.

For patients, it translates into a shorter hospital stay, as well.

Instead of staying here 2-3 days, Cushing went home the same day.

" I'm ready to go home and sleep in my own bed and not have to spend the night. And I don't feel uncomfortable at all."

The da Vinci is used nationally in a number of surgeries ranging from kidney disorders to obesity.

Click here to link to the da Vinci's website to learn more about this surgical tool.


»Topics in this article


Offensive or inappropriate comments are subject to removal. To report a comment, please e-mail us at, and include the name of the story and information on the comment.

Thank you!

Most Popular

Top Videos

1 2 3 4