On Monday, Oct. 9, Muscogee Nation’s Council Oak Comprehensive Healthcare in Tulsa became the first Tribal health care facility in the lower 48 United States to perform minimally invasive surgery utilizing the da Vinci XI robotic surgery system.
The da Vinci robotic surgery system allows surgeons to complete minimally invasive operations using specialized robotic instrumentation equipped to perform the same function as scissors, scalpels and forceps. Surgeons control the robotic arms of the system from a surgical console using instruments attached to their wrists and with the assistance of magnified, 3D views from miniaturized surgical cameras.
Dr. Micah Wright, D.O., a urogynecologist on the medical staff at Council Oak Comprehensive Healthcare, was the first surgeon to perform a procedure using Council Oak’s new da Vinci technology.
“This robot will be a valuable resource for the Muscogee Nation Department of Health,” said Dr. Wright. “The use of the robot extends the surgeon’s vision and movement capabilities, leading to an overall more precise surgery. The major bonus, though, is it is minimally invasive. Not only are there less complications, but the recovery process is, in most cases, so much easier for the patient,” Dr. Wright said.
In recent decades, robotic surgery has revolutionized the way surgeons perform a number of procedures. In addition to enhancing the views, precision and range of motion for surgeons, robotic-assisted surgery decreases the inci- dence of surgical complications for patients compared to traditional open surgery. Smaller incisions mean less risk for infection, blood loss, pain and scarring. All of these benefits add up to shorter hospital stays and quicker recovery.
For its Council Oak debut, Dr. Wright used the robotic surgical system to perform a hysterectomy. More than 500,000 women in the U.S. have hysterectomies each year, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Women’s Health.
Traditional open hysterectomies where physicians make a large incision in the abdomen typically require a two to three-day hospital stay and six to eight weeks for a full recovery. Robotic- assisted surgery, however, may reduce total recovery time from a hysterectomy by as much as half.
“It is hard to believe I just had major surgery,” said Briahna Kincade, one of the first patients to utilize the new technology. “My hysterectomy was completed very quickly. I woke up from the procedure, and several hours later, I was home with my family. I have no reason to think my recovery won’t be just as easy. I’m confident that I will be back to work and participating in all the other activities I enjoy in no time,” said Kincade.
In addition to gynecological surgeries, Council Oak physicians anticipate using the da Vinci robotic surgery technology for several minimally invasive operations, including hernia repairs and gallbladder removals.
“The investment in this surgical system is going to transform surgical care for the Muscogee Nation Department of Health,” said Shawn Terry, Muscogee Nation Secretary of Health. “We are excited about the enhancement it offers to our surgeons and the benefits it provides to our patients. We are constantly looking for ways to provide the very best in patient care – this robot is just one step towards creating a center for excellence in surgical care.”
“Here at the Muscogee Creek Nation, we’re not just taking care of people today, we have a responsibility to make sure they receive the best care and quality of life possible in the future,” Principal Chief David Hill said. “To see MCN Health continue to be forward-thinking and aggressive in seeking out resources and technology that keeps us on the cutting edge, is very gratifying.”
— About MCN Health Headquartered in Okmulgee, the Muscogee Nation is the fourth largest federally recognized tribe in the United States with more than 100,000 citizens. The Muscogee (Creek) Nation Department of Health operates community hospitals and a physical rehabilitation center serving both tribal citizens and the general public. To ensure healthy generations of Native people, the Nation also operates Indian health clinics and provides dedicated services for citizens of federally recognized tribes.
— About the da Vinci surgical system There are several models of the da Vinci surgical system. The da Vinci surgical systems are designed to help surgeons perform minimally invasive surgery. Da Vinci systems offer surgeons high-definition 3D vision, a magnified view, and robotic and computer assistance. They use specialized instrumentation, including a miniaturized surgical camera and wristed instruments (i.e., scissors, scalpels and forceps) that are designed to help with precise dissection and reconstruction deep inside the body.