Mt. Vernon Register-News

February 4, 2014

Crossroads shows off new robotic system



MT. VERNON — Mt. Vernon Rotary West members got a first look at the new Robotic Surgery System acquired by Crossroads Community Hospital at a special live demonstration held Monday morning.

The event was part of a series of demonstrations the hospital has planned for Monday and today to introduce the new technology to local community groups and the public.

The four-arm robotic-assisted system allows surgeons to perform “ultra-precise, minimally invasive” techniques for procedures such as hysterectomies, pelvic floor reconstructions and gallbladder surgeries.

“It’s a great opportunity to bring additional capabilities to Mt. Vernon and to keep health care local,” said Finny Mathew, Chief Executive Officer of Crossroads. “And it’s just another example of how Mt. Vernon is leading the way in the region.”

Monday morning’s demonstration for the Rotary West group took place in the hospital’s conference center.

On hand for the presentation was Ben Mohrmann, clinical representative for the Intuitive company, who gave a brief overview of the new system. Intuitive is the manufacturer of the technology.

Mohrmann also showed the group a YouTube video depicting how the system’s robotic arms could be used to peel a grape.

After Mohrmann’s speech, Rotary members were given the chance to try out the new system themselves, using the robotic arms to maneuver toy pieces, handle money and perform other tasks.

“That was easier than I expected it to be,” said Rotary member Mark Kabat, after operating the device.

Mohrmann said the demonstration helped illustrate the system’s “ease of use,” despite its complex technology.

According to Crossroads officials, the new system is a major advancement in available technology for the hospital’s Women’s Health Program.

For many patients, the use of the robotic tools will result in less scarring and pain, as well as a quicker recovery.

Also, part of the new technology is the Firefly Fluorescence System, which allows surgeons to use a video camera and glowing dye to view blood flowing in vessels and tissues during a procedure, states a Crossroads news release.

“This capability provides real-time, image-guided identification of key anatomical landmarks using near-infrared technology,” the release states. “The system provides surgeons with enhanced visualization during surgery to deliver optimal patient outcomes.”

In addition to Rotary West, system demonstrations are also being held for the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, the Rend Lake College Foundation Board, National Railway employees, The Insurance Store, area nursing homes, the media and others.

“We have two full days (of demonstrations),” said Debi Richardson, director of marketing and public relations for Crossroads.

The general public demonstration took place at a “Healthy Woman” event Monday evening at the hospital.