Brisbane hospital’s robot Renaissance

Dr Brian Meade and CEO Chris Murphy with North West Private Hospital’s new da Vinci robot

The name da Vinci is synonymous with fine art and a genius who was ahead of his time.

Now, more than 500 years since he died, new robotic surgical technology named in honour of the Renaissance artist, scientist and inventor is helping to change lives in Brisbane and make complex surgery easier for some of Queensland’s top surgeons.

The da Vinci Xi system has arrived at North West Private Hospital in Everton Park in Brisbane’s northern suburbs and it is helping to support the latest surgical capabilities.

The technology is being used in a variety of procedures including colorectal, urology, gynaecology and general surgery.

Colorectal surgeon Dr Brian Meade performed the first surgery using the da Vinci Xi robot at North West in mid-May.

“For me, it’s about instrument advancements – it enhances ergonomics and my visualisation of tissues,” he said.

“It’s much easier to control instruments and optics, and improves dexterity and suturing in tight spaces.”

The system allows the surgeon to control the robotic assistant from a console. The surgeon’s hand movements are translated to perform tiny movements within the body in real time.

Optimisation 3D vision, magnification and motion tremor control are designed to help the surgeon with greater dexterity and precision.

Colorectal surgeon Dr Brian Meade operates the da Vinci Xi machine

North West Private Hospital CEO Chris Murphy said the robotic technology would help empower surgeons with minimally-invasive surgical options for patients.

“We expect to have quite a number of surgeons utilising the robotic assistant for a variety of procedures,” he said.

“We’re looking forward to continuing to introduce new technology at North West, following our $55 million expansion last year, to help deliver excellent healthcare in Brisbane’s northern suburbs.”

The recent expansion boosted hospital capacity to 150 beds, increased the number of operating theatres from five to seven, and raised the number of oncology chairs from six to 10.

North West also now boasts a six-unit bed for intensive and critical care, a day rehabilitation service and a new retail pharmacy which services the hospital itself and the community.

The new four-level multilevel car park also recently opened, and Mr Murphy said the hospital was proud of the fact parking remains free.

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