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Minimally Invasive and Robotic Surgery

At St. John's Hospitals, we strive to provide our patients with the highest quality care — because nothing is more important than your safety. That’s why we’re honored to have been recognized by Surgical Review Corp, a patient safety organization that administers best-in-class accreditation throughout the world, as a nationally recognized Center of Excellence for Robotic Surgery.

Ion Endoluminal System

St. John’s now offers a minimally invasive robotic-assisted bronchoscopy procedure with Ion. With accurate precision and stability, Ion enables physicians to obtain tissue samples from deep within the lung, addressing a challenging aspect of lung biopsy. 

During the Ion bronchoscopy, your physician guides an ultra-thin catheter through your airway to the area of your lung for biopsy. The small, flexible catheter can reach all segments of the lung — even far into the outer lung. Once at the nodule for biopsy the catheter locks in place. Your physician inserts biopsy tools through the catheter to take a sample of your lung tissue.

Ion made by Intuitive, maker of the da Vinci surgical system, is built on more than two decades of leadership in robotic-assisted technology. Ion complements our robotic-assisted surgical program, enabling patients to receive all care —from biopsy to surgery— at our hospital. Learn more

Da Vinci Robotic Surgery

At Dignity Health St. John’s Regional Medical Center in Oxnard, our highly skilled surgeons utilize the da Vinci Xi surgical robotic system designed to perform some of the most complex procedures and provide you with unmatched precision – allowing you to get back on your feet sooner.

With the da Vinci Xi® surgery, you no longer have to worry about complex surgeries with long recovery times. Your surgeon is in control of the procedure via magnification in 3-D, high-definition views of the procedure site as well as superior visual clarity of tissue and anatomy, allowing surgeons to perform complex procedures through the smallest incisions possible. 

Our surgeons and surgical teams undergo extensive training in order to use the da Vinci® robotic surgery system and have performed more than 100 cases. 

Filmed pre-COVID

Improving Patient Outcomes

The robotic technology helps our da Vinci surgeons improve patient experiences and outcomes in three important ways:

  • Simplifies many existing minimally invasive procedures, allowing robotic surgeons to perform standard laparoscopic procedures more quickly and easily. Standard laparoscopy uses small incisions to insert long-shafted instruments, but has certain limitations that robotic surgery does not when the procedure, patient's anatomy or condition is particularly challenging or complex.
  • Robotic surgery makes difficult operations routine. The da Vinci surgery system allows more surgeons to confidently perform complex procedures using a minimally invasive approach.
  • da Vinci surgery makes new minimally invasive surgical procedures possible. A number of procedures that could not be performed using traditional technologies can now be performed using robotic surgery with da Vinci's advanced features and extensive instrumentation.

General Surgery

Our experienced general surgeons specialize in highly complex surgeries. Patients are able to obtain robotic-assisted gallbladder removal known as laparoscopic cholecystectomy ("lap chole") and correct rectal prolapse (rectopexy) through a few incisions safely and effectively.

Robotic Valve Surgery

When your doctor recommends cardiac surgery, you may feel anxious or intimidated. At St. John's, you can have peace of mind with minimally invasive robotic surgery for cardiothoracic conditions, including mitral valve repair.

What to Expect During Robotic Valve Surgery

For robotic-assisted valve surgery, incisions made in your chest are often much smaller than those made for traditional surgery. Here's how the surgery is performed:

  • To get to your heart, one or more incisions must be made in your chest.
  • If your heart's movements must be stopped during your valve surgery, your blood will be kept flowing by a heart-lung machine. Your surgeon will connect your body to the machine through two tubes. One tube carries blood from your heart. The other tube returns blood to your arterial system. These tubes are inserted through blood vessels in your groin. Once the valve surgery is done, your heart and lungs take over again.
  • To reach the valve, an incision is made in your heart or aorta. If the valve can be mended, the needed repairs are done.
  • If the valve must be replaced, part or all of the damaged valve and its supportive structures may be removed.
  • The right-sized replacement valve is selected, positioned in the valve opening, and sewn firmly into place.
  • The incision in your heart or aorta is closed.
  • Your heart is then started so it beats on its own again.

Recovering from Robotic Heart Valve Surgery

After surgery, you'll spend at least a day in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Highly trained nurses will monitor you closely. When you're ready, you will be moved to a general care room. Most patients remain in the hospital for 3-4 days.

Gynecology Robotic-Assisted Surgery

How Does Robotic Hysterectomy Differ from Traditional Surgery?

For many years, the customary approach to hysterectomy has been open surgery, using a large incision for access to the uterus and surrounding anatomy. With open surgery, there can be significant pain, trauma, a long recovery process and threat to surrounding organs and nerves.

With robotic hysterectomy, Dignity Health's specially trained da Vinci surgeons use da Vinci to operate with greater precision and control. Instead of making one large abdominal incision, your surgeon will make four smaller ones, measuring about 1-2 centimeters each—minimizing the pain and risk associated with large incisions while increasing the likelihood of a fast recovery. 

Treatment for endometriosis

Sometimes the pain caused by endometriosis can be mitigated with over the counter pain medications, anti-inflammatory medication, or birth control hormones. However, if a woman is planning a pregnancy and experiencing fertility issues, or is continuing to have symptoms despite medications, surgical treatment may be considered. Choosing fertility-sparing robotic endometriosis resection is a game changer for women who want to build a family. Utilizing robotic techniques to remove endometriosis is an effective treatment for dysmenorrhea (p)ain with menstruation or dyspareunia (p)ainful intercourse, while working around vital reproductive structures to maintain fertility. For mature women who are no longer concerned with family planning, robotic radical endometriosis resection, removing the ovaries, Fallopian tubes, and uterus, can help ensure they will not require future surgery. This technique will help alleviate pelvic pain, dysmenorrhea or dyspareunia associated with endometriosis while preserving normal tissues and nerves. Additionally, multidisciplinary procedures combined with urology or general surgery to treat deep infiltrating endometriosis which may be affecting the bowel or bladder can also benefit from a robotic approach.

Urologic Robotic Surgery

At Dignity Health, our surgery center uses the da Vinci® Surgical System whenever possible. It's a minimally invasive, robot-assisted surgery that allows your surgeon to operate with extreme precision and control. It's ideal for delicate urologic surgeries, such as colectomy and prostatectomy.

How Does Robotic Colorectal Surgery Differ from Traditional Surgery?

Traditional colorectal surgery requires a large abdominal incision. Such large incisions have significant drawbacks, including pain, trauma, a long recovery, and risk of infection.

Using the most advanced technology available today, the da Vinci Surgical System allows our surgeons to operate through a few tiny incisions with the help of 3D images. Therefore, robotic colorectal surgery increases surgical precision and control and can even be used for complex procedures like low anterior resection or colectomy.

How Does Robotic Prostatectomy Differ from Traditional Surgery?

A prostatectomy targets a confined area surrounded by nerves affecting urinary control and sexual function. Traditional open surgery requires a large, 8- to 10-inch incision. Drawbacks include significant post-surgery pain, a lengthy recovery, and possible long-term impacts on continence and sexual function.

In contrast, our specially trained da Vinci surgeons work through only a few dime-sized incisions, with the help of 3-D images. They are experts in this nerve-sparing technique that allows patients to return quickly to their normal lives.

Benefits of Robotic Surgery

Minimally invasive surgery using the da Vinci Robotic technology offers eligible patients a variety of advantages over traditional invasive and laparoscopic procedures, including:

  • A shorter hospital stay
  • Less blood loss
  • Fewer Complications
  • Less need for narcotic pain medicine
  • A faster recovery
  • Smaller incisions associated with minimal scarring
  • Quicker return to normal activities

Are You a Candidate for Robotic Surgery?

Robotic surgery isn't an option for everyone. Talk with your doctor about the benefits and risks of robotic surgery and how it compares with other techniques, such as other types of minimally invasive surgery and conventional open surgery.

As with any surgery, these benefits cannot be guaranteed, as surgery is unique to each patient and procedure. The da Vinci Surgical System is considered safe and effective, but may not be appropriate for everyone. Always talk to your doctor about all treatment options, as well as the associated benefits and risks.

You may be a candidate for minimally invasive robotic-assisted surgery. See a robotic surgery specialist today, please call (877) 753-6248.