“Dr. Ramzi Deeik used the hospital’s new daVinci Robotic Surgical System, which utilizes a miniature video camera the width of a pencil and tiny “hands” that mimic the wrist movements of a surgeon. Deeik was stationed at a console about 20 feet away, his hands grasping a color monitor.
He made three incisions, each less than 1/4 inch wide, allowing the instruments to be inserted into her chest cavity.
Deeik, a cardio thoracic surgeon with Napa Valley Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery of Napa, underwent extensive training in France and Florida to qualify to use the robotic equipment.
He received a fellowship training in cardiothoracic surgery at Loyola University in Chicago, and completed his general surgery residency at Northwestern University, where he served as the chief resident of general surgery.
The robotic equipment he used on Thomas was developed by Intuitive Surgical of Sunnyvale, where specialists are also available for training in its use for successful heart surgery.
Deeik said the tools can correct any unsteadiness in a surgeon’s hands. They also provide the surgeon with a three-dimensional view that can be magnified up to 10 times, allowing for precise work.
“Robotic surgery is here to stay,” he said. “It is very important to give the patient the benefit of minimally invasive surgery.”