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September 18, 2006

Lights, camera, action: Live webcast of surgery on Sept. 20

Robot-assisted hysterectomy at University of Michigan Health System can be seen live on the Internet

ANN ARBOR, MI – A live webcast from an operating room at the University of Michigan Hospital will highlight an innovative use of technology in medical care: a surgical robot that assists surgeons as they perform a minimally invasive procedure.

Arnold Advincula, MDThe webcast, from 3-4 p.m. EDT Sept. 20, will allow viewers to watch a robot-assisted hysterectomy on their computers at home or work. It will be available in real time at, and will be archived on the Web site after that.

Arnold Advincula, M.D., will perform the surgery (the removal of the uterus) and will explain the procedure to the audience. Advincula, who is recognized worldwide as an expert in the use of the da Vinci Surgical System, says the robot assists with extremely precise movements of the surgeon’s hands, and provides imaging that helps the surgical team navigate a minimally invasive procedure.

“With hysterectomies, open incisions are still the most common. But with a robot-assisted, minimally invasive approach, we are able to more clearly discern the tissue planes during the surgery,” says Advincula, associate professor and director of minimally invasive surgery at the U-M Medical School Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. “This is especially helpful when the patient’s condition is complicated by tissue adhesions or endometriosis,” a condition in which the lining of the uterus is found outside the uterus.

Advincula notes that one of the advantages of a robot-assisted, minimally invasive hysterectomy is that it causes less pain to the body, smaller incisions, and often a quicker recovery time than traditional hysterectomies with an open incision. Another option for women is a minimally invasive (or laparoscopic) hysterectomy that is not assisted by a surgical robot.

As Advincula is performing the surgery, Arleen H. Song, M.D., MPH, assistant professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, will answer questions from viewers. While one of the main audiences for the webcast will be other health care providers, the general public is invited to watch and to send in questions via email. A link for sending a message will be available on the webcast page,

The webcast is being presented by, which is run by slp3D, an Internet broadcasting company. The da Vinci Surgical System is a product of Intuitive Surgical Inc. Viewers must have RealPlayer on their computers to watch the webcast.

Written by Katie Gazella

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