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Denver Hospital First In Region To Obtain Latest-Generation Da Vinci Robot

DENVER (CBS4) - A Denver hospital says it is only a few months away from using their impressive new robotic system in surgeries.

Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center paid nearly $2 million for the da Vinci Xi, and they are the first hospital in the Rocky Mountain region with the robot. The system is equipped to do complex surgery, and a doctor there says it will be a game changer.

Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center
Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center (credit: CBS)

The actual system might look like a tiny game of ring toss to an outsider, but the colorful bands are maneuvered with robotic arms and it is operated by a doctor.

"We hope to have this up and running in early 2015," said Dr. Warren Strutt.

Strutt says the da Vinci Xi system, which is the fourth generation model, promises to be the best yet.

Earlier versions of da Vinci allow for operations through dime sized cuts. A tiny camera placed thru one incision shows a 3D image of the inside of the body. The surgeon can control tiny specialized instruments.

da Vinci Xi
da Vinci Xi (credit: CBS)

With the Xi system, all that's still true, but better. The camera on the new model is said to deliver sharper images. There are also now four smaller, thinner robotic arms that can rotate and pivot into just about any position.

Also, the surgeon can operate in more than one area. There's no need to re-position the entire apparatus.

"For instance I do colorectal surgery I can operate on the rectum then go on to move on to different aspects of the colon," Strutt said. "I don't need to undock the robot, so it makes it very efficient."

Strutt says with the da Vinci Xi he'll be able to work with better precision and dexterity.

And with this minimally invasive surgery the patient will have fewer incisions, spend less time on the operating table and fewer days in the hospital.

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