St. James Healthcare in Butte announced Thursday they acquired a new machine to aid surgeons with a variety of surgical procedures.
Hospital patients at Butte's St. James Healthcare will no longer need to go to other facilities in the state if they are in need of a surgical procedure involving the use of a robot.
Thursday St. James Healthcare announced the acquisition of the da Vinci Surgical System to the hospital's operating rooms.
"With the da Vinci machine we open up a whole new realm of possibilities here, locally, and people in this whole area, for minimally invasive procedures," said Dr. John Cochran.
The robot comes equipped with a surgeon's console, a cart with four robotic arms, a 3D vision system, and miniature instruments.
The instrument tips work as the surgeon's hand movements, as the surgeon works the instruments from a separate device.
With this surgery, patients will have shorter hospital stays, less blood loss, less pain, and smaller incisions.
"Most patients don't have any pain, they don't even use pain medicine, and they're back to work quicker," Cochran said.
The robot is used primarily for prostate surgical procedures.
Hospital administration officials said the robot will benefit the hospital and won't force people to go out of town for help.
"The technology is very important for a couple of reasons," said Chuck Wright, CEO at St. James. "Firstly, for the surgical procedures we can do now in Butte. Previously, people had to travel to Missoula or Great Falls or Billings. So that's the initial importance of the equipment."
The hospital plans to use the robot immediately.
The first procedure will be on May 17th.
St. James will have four surgeons trained and able to use the equipment, with plans to train more in the near future.