New technology enhances the future of surgery


By Kimberly Bryant

Imagine being a physician or medical student who’s able to view a live surgery and talk to the physician while he is performing the surgery. Imagine if you were able to do this if you were in Omaha or anywhere across the world.

On Oct. 31 at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, members of the press and public were invited to watch a live gallbladder removal while teleconferencing with the physician, Dmitry Oleynikov, M.D., who performed the surgery.

This new technology, called the StorzOR1 system, allows multiple images to be sent to teleconference rooms all over the world via the Internet and integrates all operating room tools through the use of a computer.

“Surgery today is dependent more and more upon computers, video screens and other technologies,” Oleynikov says. “Currently, it is difficult to use all of these technologies together. The benefit of the StorzOR1 system is a seamless integration between man and machine.”

Not only does the StorzOR1 benefit doctors all over, it also is a great benefit in the operating room. The system allows the surgeon to access patient records and data, consult with and receive input from other physicians in complicated procedures and allows for greater precision in the operation itself.

“We’re hoping to perform surgery with greater assistance from machines and therefore be much more precise,” Oleynikov says.

Because the system is located off the floor, cords and movement of operating room equipment are eliminated. This cuts down on the amount of movement in the operating room, which allows more time to focus on the surgery. Manager of NHS Surgical Services Mark Emodi, R.N., says the StorzOR1 limits the amount of movement of very heavy machinery by nurses in the OR.

“Currently we have very large video towers that are required to be moved to each OR by the nursing staff,” he says. “This system will allow the nursing staff to move equipment without the physical exertion of moving the machinery.”

The surgical team can control OR settings at the touch of a button.

The StorzOR1 also incorporates the daVinci surgical robot. Serving as a surgical hand, the robot is controlled by joysticks and sends a video signal to the StorzOR1. The camera and the robotic hand allow for greater precision, greater clarity and give a magnified view of the patient’s organs. The surgeon is also allowed to sit comfortably instead of having to stand and shift weight.

“It allows me to perform surgery with greater ease,” Oleynikov says.

The StorzOR1 and daVinci robot also benefit the patient in surgery and recovery time.

The patient, a 40-year-old woman, suffered from gallstones, which required her gallbladder to be removed. With the aid of the daVinci, a half-inch incision was made but was widened due to the gallstones. Without the daVinci, an incision of 6-8 inches would have been made, which would increase the recovery time. The smaller incision provides a quicker healing time.

“What I usually tell my patients is if they get the surgery on a Monday or within the week, they should be feeling fine and back to work the following Monday,” Oleynikov says.

Other procedures the StorzOR1 and the daVinci have been used for include minimally invasive surgery, orthopedic, urologic, obstetrical, gynecologic and other surgeries.

The StorzOR1 system is the only one in Nebraska. There are currently 60 systems in the United States. Oleynikov expects the number to increase due to the system’s capabilities.


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