Patient Care

Single-Port Robotic System Augments URMC Clinical Expertise, Spurs Innovation and Training

Feb. 21, 2022

The URMC Department of Urology continues to lead the field of robotic surgery, utilizing the fourth-generation, single-port Intuitive da Vinci SP to provide patients the most precise surgical option available, and applying surgical simulation expertise to develop training curriculum for this newest robotic technology.

URMC is the sole institution in upstate New York to offer the single-port option that, compared with standard multi-port surgery, includes smaller instruments, and improved optics. Providing enhanced precision and the ability to do complex surgeries within a very confined space. Transvesical robotic surgery is an evolving approach steadily gaining popularity.

“The University of Rochester Medical Center historically has invested in technology that offers the very best care for our patients,” said Jean V. Joseph, M.D., chair of Urology. “Access to leading-edge technology also allows our team to work closely with manufacturers to provide feedback and help shape the direction of future possibilities.” In fact, URMC developed and patented Near Infrared Fluorescence Imaging, commonly known as Firefly technology, for robotic surgical systems in collaboration with industry.

Joseph was one of first surgeons to utilize the original Intuitive da Vinci system two decades ago and has helped pioneer and promote subsequent robotic systems. His leadership in the robotic surgery field has placed him center stage demonstrating surgeries live for colleagues’ viewing at major professional conferences such as the American Urological Association and the World Robotic Urology Symposium.

“Our goal as leaders in academic urology is to think about what is best to care for our patients, and to challenge ourselves to investigate new and better ways to advance our field.”

URMC’s expertise in surgical simulation technology has dovetailed with robotic surgery. Ahmed Ghazi, M.D., M.Sc., of Urology’s Simulation Innovation Lab, has created an innovative approach using 3D printing and hydrogel casting techniques to build patient-specific replicas of anatomy that allow surgeons to practice complex cases prior to actual surgery. The simulation model now is being applied to robotic surgery training, with URMC actively working with Intuitive to develop curriculum to train surgeons in the use of its newest technology.