Summerlin Hospital offers minimally invasive surgery

A new four-armed assistant is helping surgeons at Summerlin Hospital Medical Center perform minimally invasive procedures on some patients.

Summerlin Hospital's new da Vinci Surgical System may not perform surgery on its own, but it does enable surgeons to re-create the movement of their hands, wrists and fingers within a very confined space in the patient's body.

During these procedures, surgeons make small incisions to accommodate the robot's arms, which are equipped with a high-resolution camera and special surgical instruments. Doctors then sit at a console near the patient where they view magnified, three-dimensional images of the surgical site.

A master control allows them to direct the movements they want the robotic arms to make inside the patient's body. The da Vinci robot has a full range of motion and filters out normal hand tremors for an added level of precision.

Surgeons at Summerlin Hospital recently performed the hospital's first robotic surgery cases, which included a prostatectomy, and the first robotic surgery-assisted laparoscopic partial nephrectomy renal procedure. It was the first time a robotic-assisted partial nephrectomy has been performed in Las Vegas, and the hospital's first pediatric urologic surgery procedure.

"Robotic systems are one of the most significant advances we've seen in medicine," said Robert Freymuller, CEO and managing director at Summerlin Hospital. "They allow surgeons to operate with more precision and help improve patient outcomes. Patients who have robotic procedures typically spend fewer days in the hospital, have less pain and fewer complications after surgery and recover more quickly."

For more information on Summerlin Hospital's robotic surgery program, visit the Web site at