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Learn about robotic surgery in the 21st century at free event
Hinsdale – Retired junior high science teacher John Deutsch has a soft spot for medicine and technology. That’s part of the reason he didn’t hesitate when his doctor mentioned using a robot for assistance in surgically removing his left kidney, which was enlarged and not functioning well.

“It sounded like a great opportunity,” the Darien resident said. “Afterward, I was reading an article in a medical journal about how da Vinci patients can recover more quickly with less pain than patients who undergo traditional invasive surgery.”

Dr. Joel Cornfield, the urologist who performed Deutsch’s nephrectomy, said the da Vinci Surgical System is well suited for such procedures.

“From a surgeon’s perspective, the da Vinci is easy to use,” Cornfield said. “Mr. Deutsch’s surgery went very well.”

Cornfield will present a free program, “Robotic Surgery in the 21st Century,” from 1 to 3 p.m. Nov. 11 at The Community House, 415 W. Eighth St., Hinsdale. Cornfield will discuss the evolution of surgery, laparoscopic surgery, the advent of robotics, the da Vinci robot and specific procedures in which the da Vinci robot is used. Call 630-856-7525 to register.

Adventist Hinsdale Hospital recently purchased the da Vinci device to enable surgeons to perform complicated surgical procedures in a minimally invasive manner. Built-in safety features reduces potential risk to the patient deriving from human error. In addition to urological procedures, the da Vinci is suitable for a variety of other surgical procedures, including cardiac, thoracic, prostatectomies and hysterectomies.

To operate the da Vinci Surgical System, the surgeon sits at a console near the patient. The robot itself holds the surgical tools and, guided by a high-power camera, the surgeon moves the robot’s four arms. The robot’s jointed “wrists” duplicate the surgeon’s own hand movements.

In conventional laparoscopy, the surgeon stands while he operates and uses hand-held instruments that contain long shafts and no wrists.

The da Vinci’s monitoring system provides the surgeon with a clear, colored, magnified, three-dimensional view of the patient’s anatomy. By contrast, the pictures produced during traditional laparoscopic surgery contain only two-dimensions and the surgeon must look away from the patient to view these pictures.