At the forefront of technology: Infirmary Health celebrates 10 years of robotic surgery

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Mobile, Ala. – In 2006, Mobile Infirmary was the first hospital in Mobile and the Alabama Gulf Coast region to perform robotic assisted surgery. Celebrating its tenth year of using the technology, Mobile Infirmary, the largest Infirmary Health facility, serves as a support resource and facility for other area hospitals and physicians. Infirmary Health offers more robotic procedures, performs more surgeries and has more practicing physicians with extensive experience and skill than anyone else in the region.
“Infirmary Health has been at the forefront of pioneering minimally invasive surgery,” says Ashley Simmons, R.N., manager of surgical services. “Our health system has invested in four da Vinci Surgical System robots, and nearly 5,000 surgeries have been performed with the robotic technology.”
Robotic surgery is different from all other types of surgery. With open surgery, physicians make large incisions, but this increases the chance of pain and complications. With traditional laparoscopic surgery, doctors work through tiny incisions with sticklike instruments, but are limited in range of motion and how much they can see.
During robotic-assisted surgery, the surgeon sits at a computer console, which displays a 3-D high-definition view of the surgical operation. Working through small incisions, the surgeon controls highly specialized instruments that can move in any direction, far surpassing the agility of the human wrist. Less cutting is involved, so patients have less pain and faster recovery times.
“The da Vinci Surgical System is one of the most precise available,” says Paul Scott, M.D., a urologist who performed the first robotic surgery in the area at Mobile Infirmary. “It is designed to help doctors take surgery beyond the limits of the human hand.”
Infirmary Health has recently invested in two new versions of the da Vinci robot—the Xi and Si—which help surgeons perform a wide variety of surgeries. The da Vinci Xi, which is the latest version of the robot, allows surgeons to operate on the most complex cases. Infirmary Health has also invested in an integrated table motion system that enables the da Vinci Xi to connect to the operating table so that a patient can be dynamically positioned while the surgeon operates.
The ability to reposition the operating table allows for optimal exposure and access to the target anatomy. This helps increase efficiency and safely manage patients during robotic-assisted procedures.
For a full list of robotic procedures and more information on how this technology may help you, visit