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Small incisions, big results


Advanced robot-assisted technology makes recovery from complex surgeries easier.

Between pain and long recovery times, surgery can feel daunting for many reasons. But surgeons at Adventist Health St. Helena are using robotic technology to make operations less invasive, meaning shorter recovery time, less pain and fewer of the risks involved with traditional surgeries.

Robot assists surgeons

Charles Wilson

Adventist Health surgeons use the da Vinci robotic surgical system, which translates a specially trained surgeon’s hand movements precisely and with a much greater range of motion than humans can achieve. “The da Vinci robot’s instruments can move in all different directions, much like a human wrist,” says Charles Wilson, MD, a general surgeon at Adventist Health St. Helena. “This means we can perform operations and suture openings in tight spaces and perform complex operations much more easily than traditional open or laparoscopic surgeries.”

Reducing recovery time

Because a surgeon using the da Vinci robot can perform procedures through very small incisions, people who opt for robotic surgery see several benefits. “It’s all about the patient’s experience, and with the da Vinci robot, people have better long-term outcomes,” Dr. Wilson says.

Generally, people who undergo surgery performed with the da Vinci robot have shorter hospital stays, less postoperative pain, reduced recovery time and fewer complications, such as infections or risk of blood clots. “A person recovering from surgery performed with the da Vinci robot can return to normal activity earlier than someone recovering from open surgery,” Dr. Wilson says, “and we don’t tend to need to prescribe narcotics for postoperative pain.”

Proven results

Robotic surgery may seem like a new trend in the surgical world, but surgeons have been performing minimally invasive procedures with this technology for decades. “The da Vinci robot is a tool used by highly trained surgeons who are in complete control at all times,” Dr. Wilson says. “The robot doesn’t move unless we tell it to move. It’s a safe and effective tool in the hands of a skilled surgeon.”

Recover better

Visit to learn more about how Adventist Health’s surgeons can help you recover faster.