Northwest Surgical Hospital uses new robotic technology to help treat patients and protect from COVID-19

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As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in our area, Northwest Surgical Hospital is using new technology in an effort to keep patients out of main hospitals to protect them from the virus.

The Di Vinci XI is the only system that’s located in an offsite surgical facility outside the metro area and it’s right here in Amarillo at Northwest Surgical Hospital. This means patients in the area don’t have to travel miles to bigger cities or go to main hospitals to be treated.

The primary message is that it keeps hospitals open to treat other patients right now and opens up for procedures that can be done at offsite locations like this one.

“At hospitals we need space to take care of those patients. So, when you do surgeries, you utilize resources, man power, which can be easily and efficiently done in the surgical center. The second point is also the efficiency is better. We can get these things done a lot faster because of the way the system is at the surgery center level,” said Muhammad Nazim, regional chairman and professor of surgery at TTUHSC.

Nazim says this tool helps provide better care to his patients because the system minimizes complications, causes minimal pain with a faster recovery time and improves outcomes.

“If you started out with open surgery, the patient used to come in and stay at the hospital for a long time, a long recovery, pain and going back to work was all prolonged. This really revolutionized the way we deal with these situations and you know of course, really cut down on the cost, the quality of the patient, minimizing complications and stuff like that. I see robotic surgery as the future of any specialties and surgeries,” said Nazim.

This technology allows the physician to sit at the consul while doing the surgery. The system moves in all directions, where if the physician was doing the surgery with his or her hands, they may not be able to maneuver in all the same directions the system can.

“All of the physicians do have to have additional training. A lot of people laugh about the kids doing all of the Xbox and everything. I mean that is exactly where it’s getting all their skills from, is all these physicians, I’m not saying that they’ve all done Xbox, but I’m just saying that just the hand, eye coordination is what gets them going,” said Destiny Thompson, assistant director of the surgery center at Northwest Surgical Hospital.