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DVIDS – News – BDAACH Enhances Surgical Capabilities with Robotic Surgical System

CAMP HUMPHREYS, SOUTH KOREA – “This is a victory for our patients and staff!

Three years of dedication to enabling the Robotic Surgical System at Brian D. Allgood Army Community Hospital (BDAACH) finally came to fruition on May 16, 2022. BDAACH General Surgeons recently performed successful robot-assisted surgeries. With this new capability, many surgical patients can be cared for at BDAACH instead of returning to the United States or host country network hospitals for more complicated surgeries.

Since the move of the U.S. Army Garrison Hospital to Yongsan and the opening of the new medical center at Camp Humphreys in 2019, the BDAACH Surgical Department has continued a collective effort to implement this new surgical technology. . The effort has not wavered even during the pandemic.

General surgeon Dr (Maj.) Alexander Friedman, who has led the project since arriving on the peninsula, shared how gratifying it was to see robotic surgeries finally validated in May 2022.

“It took the team a few years to get the necessary equipment and ship everything to Korea. It was a much more hands-on project than expected, but that makes it more rewarding.”

Friedman recalled memories of ordering different parts of the robotic system and performing an inventory of equipment that sometimes had operating room (OR) personnel diving into multiple packages shipped from the United States. Friedman shared that all of this hard work was possible because the team was committed to providing additional surgical capacity that will ultimately increase options and improve patient outcomes.

“Our team had two firm goals while working to bring this improved technology to the facility; first and foremost, a better experience for patients and, second, more training opportunities for surgeons and operating room staff stationed in Korea,” Friedman said.

Patients who undergo robot-assisted laparoscopic surgery have less blood loss, shorter hospital stays, and faster recovery with the da Vinci Surgical System compared to open surgery. Additionally, the da Vinci Surgical System provides the surgeon with a set of advanced equipment to be used to perform robot-assisted minimally invasive surgery. Surgeons can now offer patients more choices of laparoscopic procedures for other specialties such as colorectal, gynecological and urological surgeries.

The da Vinci System translates the surgeon’s hand gestures to the console into real-time motion with full-wrist instruments during the procedure with a higher range of motion than standard laparoscopic instruments. The da Vinci vision system also provides a magnified, high-definition 3-dimensional view of the operating area. Surgeons can use one or more instruments at a time due to different tool sizes.

The majority of surgeons these days are trained in robotic surgery in their residency programs. All BDAACH general surgeons are certified to perform robotic surgeries. By having the da Vinci system at the BDAACH, surgeons will be able to maintain and advance their skills. In turn, operating room staff will also receive relevant and up-to-date training in support of robotic surgery.

Friedman shared that robot arms don’t necessarily make surgeries less complicated. Instead, it provides surgeons with improved and consistent operational capability, especially during prolonged operations. Also, the da Vinci is expected to increase the number of surgeries the operating room can offer because it only requires one surgeon and reduces fatigue.

In preparation for the validation process, the OR team made several visits to the Seoul Robotic Surgery Training Center to ensure they are up to date and familiar with all processes and procedures. A supervising surgeon from the CONUS military hospital was brought in to oversee the program and validate equipment and personnel.

Friedman shared that the first week of robotic surgeries went very well. He was happy that BDAACH could offer more surgeries, especially types of surgeries that were not available in the past. He also shared his excitement about being able to care for more patients at BDAACH.

Not all surgeries will require robotic surgery, and the first week will consist mostly of general surgery cases. However, urology and obstetrics-gynecology departments should use this equipment in the future on a case-by-case basis.

“It’s great to bring this facility up to the level of all other military medical centers. We can now provide the same level of care as other military treatment facilities in the United States and the level of care you get on the civilian side too,” Friedman shared.

“We are delighted to announce that BDAACH can now leverage this cutting-edge medical technology to improve clinical operations, safety, and patient and staff satisfaction,” said Colonel Huy Luu, Director of BDAACH. “Our number one priority is always our patients. We will ensure the safety and quality of care for our patients while providing our staff with the most up-to-date training platforms.”

Date taken: 31.05.2022
Date posted: 31.05.2022 00:15
Story ID: 421811
Location: PYEONGTAEK, 41, KR

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