With the aid of funding from the German Research Foundation (DFG), robot-assisted surgery is now being performed in four clinics at the biggest university hospital in Lower Saxony. Prof. Jürgen Klempnauer, the Director of the Clinic for General, Abdominal and Transplantation Surgery, oversaw the creation of Hannover Medical School's "da Vinci Robotic Center", which also includes the Clinic of Cardiac, Thoracic, Transplant and Vascular Surgery, the Clinic for Urology and Urological Oncology and the Clinic for Gynecology and Obstetrics. Thanks to technical advances in the system, it can now be used on a multi-disciplinary basis, which means many more patients can benefit from this gentle, minimally invasive operating technique.
Prof. Klempnauer describes the four-armed da Vinci Xi as the "perfect surgeons' assistant", as it provides medical staff with a three-dimensional depiction of the operation site, almost as if viewed through a microscope, and allows them to move the robot arms and their attached micro-surgical instruments with millimeter-precision via an operating console. Surgeons in his department are currently using the robot for abdominal tumor operations, while gynecological consultants are also using da Vinci for cancer operations or to remove ectopic endometrium from patients’ abdomens. Urological surgeons are also delighted at the robot’s excellent precision, which enables them to depict the very edges of a tumor, dissect the most delicate anatomical structures and thus carry out organ-saving interventions on the kidneys and remove prostate tumors. Last but not least, the university's cardiothoracic surgeons have succeeded in removing all sorts of benign and malignant masses from thoraxes in recent weeks using the minimally invasive keyhole surgery made possible by da Vinci. Surgeons from all the departments agree that da Vinci considerably improves the patients' experience by reducing blood loss, complications and infections and ultimately speeding up recovery, which all goes toward getting them back home earlier.
Medizinische Hochschule Hannover, Klinik für Allgemein-, Vizeral- und Transplantationschirurgie