85th Anniversary - ArchivesJune 2019

From the archives: Introducing … Dr. Robot!

Robot-assisted surgery, the most exciting and revolutionary form of surgery ever performed at the JGH, got under way in December 2007.

Dr. Guy Breault, a urology resident, assists in robotic surgery. To keep the area hygenic, plastic sheets encase all of the machinery except for the sterile instruments in the patient’s abdomen.

Dr. Guy Breault, a urology resident, assists in robotic surgery. To keep the area hygenic, plastic sheets encase all of the machinery except for the sterile instruments in the patient’s abdomen.

This upgrade gives doctors the unprecedented ability to carry out delicate, minimally invasive procedures with exceptional precision. As a result, patients who underwent robot‑assisted surgery experienced less blood loss, lower risk of complications, shorter hospital stays and quicker recuperation times.

Earlier versions of the da Vinci robot had been used in the United States and Europe for several years. However, the model that the JGH introduced was the most advanced of its kind, purchased by private donation for $4.5 million. As of spring 2008, the only other Canadian cities boasting this level of robotic sophistication were Vancouver, Edmonton and Toronto.

In the da Vinci system, the robotic arms—each bearing its own instrument—are passed through the incisions and into the patient’s body. The surgeon, sitting a couple of metres away at a special console, uses hand controls and foot pedals to manipulate the robotic arms with a degree of precision that can be difficult to achieve in regular laparoscopic surgery.

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The Jewish General Hospital’s 85th anniversary is an ideal occasion to take a glimpse into the past. By remembering the extraordinary efforts of the hospital’s founders, supporters, staff and volunteers, we honour the enduring legacy of the JGH.

Look for a new scrapbook item every week during 2019 in JGH News.

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