Bronson Brings Robotic-Assisted Surgery to Kalamazoo - Bronson Healthcare

Published on December 26, 2007

KALAMAZOO, Mich. – The latest robotic surgery technology is coming to Bronson Methodist Hospital in the form of the da Vinci®; S HD Surgical System, the most advanced method for treating patients using minimally invasive surgery.

Surgeons at Bronson perform more than 17,000 surgical procedures a year. More than 20 percent of those surgeries are done using minimally invasive techniques. In the future, even more Bronson patients will benefit from minimally invasive surgery which results in smaller incisions, a shorter hospital stay, less pain, less risk of infection, less blood loss, less need for transfusions, less scarring, faster recovery, and faster return to daily activities.

Patients undergoing minimally invasive procedures by surgeons using the da Vinci S HD Surgical System avoid the large incisions that accompany conventional surgery. Instead, the surgical site is comprised of several incisions, each approximately the size of a dime, which serve as entry points for surgical tools, video cameras or microscopes.

“The da Vinci system makes it possible to convert complex procedures in a broad range of surgical specialties from open surgeries to those using minimally invasive techniques,” said Patty Krajewski, Bronson director of surgical services. “As Kalamazoo’s preferred center for surgery, using innovative new surgical technology helps us improve the quality of care and get our patients back to their lives sooner.”

This technology will improve upon the way physicians perform a number of surgical procedures, particularly in the areas of cardiac, urological, gynecological, and pediatric care.

According to Michael Leinwand, M.D., F.A.C.S., a pediatric surgeon and one of Bronson’s robotic surgery specialists, "The da Vinci system is absolutely phenomenal. It’s superior instrumentation and high-definition, 3-D monitor enable me to perform very intricate surgery with increased precision. We can treat patients with pin-point accuracy by virtually extending our eyes and hands into the surgical field without making a large incision."

The da Vinci S HD Surgical System enhances the surgeon’s ability to see the operating field with a three-dimensional, high definition, magnified view and provides better control of surgical instruments, leading to more precise results. The system provides surgeons greater than twice the viewing resolution and 20 percent more viewing area.

The system consists of a surgeon console, a patient-side cart with four robotic arms, a high performance vision system, and instruments called EndoWrists, which provide greater flexibility and dexterity than the human wrist and forearm.

The surgeon, working at a console in the operating room, views the operating field and uses controls to operate the robotic arms and EndoWrists. The da Vinci system transfers the surgeon’s exact hand and finger movements to precise microsurgical movements in the operative field.

More information about this exciting new technology is available at or

The da Vinci Surgical System is a sophisticated robotic platform designed to enable complex surgery using a minimally invasive approach. The da Vinci System consists of an ergonomic surgeon's console, a patient-side cart with four interactive robotic arms, a high-performance vision system and proprietary EndoWrist®; instruments. Powered by state-of-the-art robotic technology, the da Vinci System is designed to scale, filter and seamlessly translate the surgeon's hand movements into more precise movements of the EndoWrist instruments. The net result is an intuitive interface with breakthrough surgical capabilities. By providing surgeons with superior visualization, enhanced dexterity, greater precision and ergonomic comfort, the da Vinci Surgical System makes it possible for more surgeons to perform minimally invasive procedures involving complex dissection or reconstruction. This ultimately raises the standard of care for complex surgeries, translating into numerous potential patient benefits, including less pain, a shorter recovery and quicker return to normal daily activities.

Bronson Methodist Hospital, located at 601 John St. in downtown Kalamazoo, Mich., is the flagship of Bronson Healthcare Group, a not-for-profit healthcare system serving all of southwest Michigan and northern Indiana. With 380 licensed beds and all private rooms, Bronson Methodist Hospital provides care in virtually every specialty—cardiology, orthopedics, surgery, emergency medicine, neurology, oncology—with advanced capabilities in critical care as a Level I Trauma Center; in neurological care as a Joint Commission certified Primary Stroke Center; in cardiac care as the region’s only accredited Chest Pain Center; in obstetrics as the leading BirthPlace and only high-risk pregnancy center in southwest Michigan, and in pediatrics as one of only four children's hospitals in the state. The hospital is the recipient of the 2005 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation's highest presidential honor for quality and organizational performance excellence, and was named one of the nation's 100 Top Hospitals for 2005 by Solucient.

Bronson Healthcare Group is one of Kalamazoo’s largest employers. For five consecutive years, it has been ranked by Working Mother magazine and for three straight years by FORTUNE as one of the nation’s 100 best companies to work for. With a workforce of more than 4,100, Bronson makes a significant contribution to the local economy. Annually, Bronson provides more than $40 million in community benefits through outreach and charitable care for the un- and under-insured.