OAKLAND (KCBS)— Remote-control surgery is growing in popularity and a Bay Area hospital is on the cutting edge of the latest advancements. Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Oakland performs the “scar-less” procedure by going through the navel.

Dr. Steve Stanten, a general surgeon at Alta Bates, has been using the da Vinci Surgical System to perform laparoscopic surgeries for 10 years, but said more recently, its allowed the hospital to take a new approach.

“Instead of making three or four incisions in people’s abdomens we can just make one incision and take out their gall bladder for instance. It’s really revolutionizing how we’re doing general surgery,” he said.

Dr. Stanten said four instruments; including a camera, go through that one incision and that calling it a robot may be a bit misleading.

“It’s really computer-aided surgery. The robot is not doing the procedure; the surgeon is doing every single maneuver. We’re just controlling via a computer, the arms, which allows doing the surgery,” Stanten said.

The Food and Drug Administration has recalled some parts of da Vinci systems built before 2011. Of the 1.5 million procedures performed using the machines, 50 lawsuits have been filed claiming injuries.


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