Tue, Aug 21, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Doctor earns key robotics award

By Jake Chung  /  Staff writer with CNA

Liu Wei-min, dean of Taipei Medical University Hospital’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, sits next to a da Vinci surgical operating system on July 11.

Photo courtesey of the Taipei Medical University Hospital

The dean of Taipei Medical University Hospital’s (TMUH) Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology yesterday became the first Asian to receive the “da Vinci Distinguished Robotic Surgeon Award,” the hospital said.

Nine months ago the hospital began to use the high-tech operating system, a medical service manufactured by Intuitive Surgical Inc that uses robotic limbs to facilitate surgery with the least invasive approach possible. Since then Liu Wei-min (劉偉民) has operated on 124 patients performing 179 surgical procedures.

None of the patients who underwent surgery using the robotic system needed a blood transfusion.

Liu referred to the advent of the da Vinci Surgical System, which was introduced in 2000 as part of the “second revolution” in the field of surgery, the first being the invention of the endoscope, which eanbles doctors see inside the body.

Patients who opt for surgery using the da Vinci Surgical System not only receive a smaller incision wound as a result of the procedure, but they often also recover faster and lose less blood, Liu said.

The less invasive surgical method tends to lessen the pain endured by patients suffering from Asherman’s syndrome or large tumors when they undergo traditional surgery, Liu said.

Asherman’s syndrome is a condition in which there is an adhesion of tissue in the uterine cavity or in some organs. It can also affect those suffering from fibrosis due to the presence of polyps — abnormal tissue growth — which can block or leave limited space in internal cavities.

Liu received the award from Intuitive Surgical Asia-Pacific Area vice president Jeroen van Heesewijk at the hospital. Van Heesewijk said Liu was only the third person to receive such an award.

Meanwhile, the Chinese-language United Daily News reported that the da Vinci Surgical System had helped rid a 42-year-old patient surnamed Lai (賴) of severe menstrual pain that had plagued her for more than 19 years.

Lai, who was diagnosed with endometriosis, Leiomyoma and ileus adhesions, gave her consent for the use of the da Vinci Surgical System in an operation to remove ovarian cysts as well as fibrous adhesions that had formed along segments of her intestines, Liu said.

The operation took one-and-a-half hours, but Lai only lost 50cc of blood and was able to leave the hospital the following day. In just one week, Lai had fully recovered, Liu said.

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