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The Da Vinci robotic surgery system. The Da Vinci robotic surgery system.

Robotic system means no-fee procedures

Mexico City hospital offers surgery at no charge to poor or uninsured patients

A new cutting-edge medical option has just been made available for low-income and uninsured patients at the Dr. Manuel Gea González general hospital, located in the southern borough of Tlalpan, in Mexico City.

The hospital is now performing medical procedures with a Da Vinci Surgical System, a four-armed medical robot designed to facilitate complex and diverse surgeries using a minimally invasive approach.

The director general of the hospital, Dr. Mucio Moreno, said this kind of technology had only been available for patients affiliated with social security hospitals such as IMSS and ISSSTE.

Now, for the first time, the Da Vinci System is a real and viable option for unaffiliated patients, who are usually also the poorest, because the operations are provided without charge.

“Using this kind of surgery, operating room times are shortened, along with recuperation times. From this moment, all of our medical staff will receive formal training in robotic surgery,” said Dr. Moreno.

The robot’s four arms are operated from a console by a specialist, notably reducing the chance for human error. The operating surgeon can perform the procedure with the aid of a 3D display.

The rest of the operating staff —nurses, anesthesiologists and other doctors— can also see, on other screens, the procedure in real time, ready to join in when needed.

Due to their minimally invasive incisions, surgeries performed with Da Vinci lead to less complications and blood loss, and the fatal risks for the patient are drastically reduced.

In a first stage, the robot was used to perform 20 prostate cancer operations, but by the end of the month more surgical specialties will be included. The medical staff estimates they’ll be able to perform around 200 robotic surgeries per month.

Highly qualified specialists from other hospitals and institutions will get a chance to use the Da Vinci System through an exchange program established by the Health Secretariat in an effort to improve the quality of health care and the safety of patients.

Source: Milenio (sp)

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