The da Vinci surgical robots offered a new way to perform minimally invasive surgeries when the first systems were launched. Now, the supplier is trying new things again. Through a partnership with Trumpf Medical, it released the Integrated Table Motion (ITM), which allows a surgeon to reposition a patient during a da Vinci Xi Surgical System procedure.
The device took five years to develop, and was launched in Europe June 2015. It was just introduced in the United States earlier this year. To learn more about the system, Surgical Products connected with Dr. Arnulf Kjos, the chief of surgery at NTNU, a medical school in Norway. He specializes in colorectal robotic surgery and robotic general surgery, and thinks general surgeons would get the most out of this investment. “I think it would have been greatly missed if we did not have Integrated Table Motion,” he reflected. “It has become something that we depend upon and that we would now mark as a prerequisite to easily do safe and good surgery on the large intestine.”
SP: What does this table require of surgeons?
Dr. Kjos: The table communicates wirelessly (IR) with the da Vinci Xi in a way that makes the action seamless and streamlined. Basically, we move the table, and the robot follows all the movements. This is how we like it. It is uncomplicated and intuitive.
SP: What was your first impression of this technology?
Dr. Kjos: We were the first hospital in the world that tried this technology. The first patient ever was to undergo a radical prostatectomy. We angled him in 40 degrees trendelenburg in one go, just as we normally do, the only difference was that we could dock him in zero degrees and that the robot followed the movement.
SP: How does this technology impact how you do robot-assisted procedures?
Dr. Kjos: As a colorectal and general surgeon, this is of great value. It is now very easy to move the table to expose different parts of the large intestine. For instance, to take down the left flexure is now a minor maneuver in a low anterior resection, whereas prior to the table motion we had to undock, angle the patient, check that we had the right exposure, redock, take down the left flexure, undock, angle, redock and resume operation. We obviously do not have to use this much time and energy any longer.
*Kjos reports no conflicts of interest with Trumpf Medical, Intuitive Surgical or otherwise.
This Q&A originally appeared in Surgical Products.