Due to the volume and complexity of robotic surgeries performed, NCH has been named a Robotic Surgery Epicenter by Intuitive Surgical, maker of the da Vinci robot. The Robotic Institute specializes in surgical treatments for benign gynecological conditions, such as:
- Hysterectomy — da Vinci provides a superior surgical tool for hysterectomies, including radical hysterectomies.
- Gynecological procedures — including the latest treatments for endometriosis, uterine fibroids, heavy uterine bleeding and uterine prolapse.
As the first gynecology Epicenter in the tri-state area of Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana, one of only 22 of its kind in the country, the Robotic Institute is a referral center for complex gynecology cases. Individual doctors and entire surgical teams from around the United States visit the Robotic Gynecologic Surgery Institute on a weekly basis to observe the NCH robotic surgical team perform sophisticated, minimally invasive procedures.
The most advanced robotic technology in the world is being taught right here at Northwest Community Hospital. Dr. Michelle Luthringshausen has been named an Epicenter surgeon by Intuitive Surgical, makers of the da Vinci Robotic Surgical System. She is considered one of the nation's leading experts in the field and teaches visiting surgeons how to perform complex robotic procedures.
"We have an outstanding robotic surgical team at Northwest Community, and it's an honor to receive this extraordinary opportunity," says Dr. Luthringshausen, who serves both at the NCH Robotic Gynecologic Surgery Institute and as assistant professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine.
While NCH has performed robotic surgeries for more than six years, the hospital upgraded to the da Vinci Si™ Surgical System in January 2011 – the most advanced robotic technology available. Less pain, greater precision and faster recoveries have always been trademarks of a da Vinci surgery. Patients experience lower complication rates and shorter hospital stays compared to conventional open and laparoscopic surgeries.
The da Vinci robot translates a surgeon's hand motions into real-time movements of tiny surgical instruments inside the patient's body. Using high-definition 3D imaging with the ability to magnify the surgical field 10 times, physicians sit at a console in the operating room and carry out the most delicate surgeries. "The robot's dexterity and control go far beyond the limits of the human hand," says Dr. Luthringshausen.