Robotic Surgery Coming to Poway


Poway’s first robot, the da Vinci Xi, will soon assist Palomar Health surgeons in performing the most precise surgeries possible at Palomar Medical Center Poway. The machine will be used on selective patients due to age and/or illness for patients with conditions related to reflux, hernias, gallbladder and some forms of cancer. The machine allows surgeries to be less invasive through smaller incisions and less tissue movement and creates less trauma for the patient.

The robot can be life-changing. A few years ago Oceanside resident Katy Alexander was facing a total kidney removal and several months of rehabilitation before meeting Palomar Health Urologist Dr. Julian Anthony. Using the da Vinci robot he was able to remove just the malignant tumor through a minimally invasive procedure, saving Alexander’s kidney and allowing her to return to caring for her mother within a few days (read Alexander’s story).

Palomar Health has been performing robotic surgery since 2007, longer than any other medical facility in the community. Palomar Medical Center Escondido was the first hospital in San Diego County to acquire and use the da Vinci Xi surgical system.

Palomar Health leaders decided to transfer one of the health system’s two robots from Escondido to Poway, to improve patient care. The opening of Palomar Medical Center Poway as a robotic assisted surgery site should have several positive effects on both Palomar Health hospitals including:
  1. Freeing up operating rooms in Escondido thereby reducing surgery wait times for patients
  2. Increasing usage at Poway which has available capacity
  3. Providing Poway-area residents with a local robotic assisted surgery option and by extension creating more options for surgeons

The first da Vinci Xi assisted surgery in Poway will be performed the week of November 25.

Photo caption: Palomar Health’s Director of Surgical Services Ron Wallmann stands next to the da Vinci Xi, a robotic machine that helps surgeons perform procedures not possible with human hands.


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