EL PASO, Texas—Las Palmas Medical Center recently became the first, and currently only, hospital in El Paso to acquire a da Vinci® Xi Robotic Surgical System from Intuitive Surgical, and Hector Flores, M.D., a cardiothoracic surgeon, has performed El Paso’s first thoracic procedures using this technology. The first procedure was performed on July 6. To date, Las Palmas Medical Center has performed more da Vinci® robotic procedures, over a broad range of specialties, than any other hospital in El Paso.

The acquisition of the da Vinci® Xi system complements Las Palmas Medical Center’s current use of the three Si robotic systems, which brings the total commitment of the hospital to four systems and an $8-million investment. Las Palmas Medical Center is a designated Intuitive Epicenter in gynecologic surgery, and surgeons from across the U.S. come to Las Palmas Medical Center to be trained in this technology.

“We are committed to bringing the latest proven technologies into El Paso to care for our patients, as shown with this new da Vinci system,” Dr. Flores said. “This is a technology that sharpens surgeons’ technical skills, diminishes patient pain and improves patient outcomes. I am pleased to be a part of a program that offers robotic thoracic surgery to southwest Texas, New Mexico and Mexico, and we are grateful to all those at Las Palmas who brought this technology to our community.”

The new surgical system includes enhanced surgical technique capabilities, which can be used in many minimally invasive procedures across a wide spectrum of specialties. Its advancements allow patients less invasive surgical options, reduced pain and quicker recovery times as compared to traditional open procedures.

Rick Farnam, M.D., a board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist specializing in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery, has used the system for urogynecology procedures. Dr. Farnam is one of only 25 da Vinci® epicenter surgeons in the U.S. and the only one in El Paso.

“The new Xi surgical robot is the culmination of years of meticulous engineering and design input from surgical experts resulting in the world’s most advanced technology,” Dr. Farnam said. “Simply put, this new surgical robot makes the impossible possible and makes previously complex surgical procedures easier.”

Intuitive’s surgical robot allows surgeons to control all of the robotic-arm movements seamlessly from a console. The da Vinci® features an enhanced design, including four overhead arms that can access the body from virtually any position. Additional upgrades include advances in the wristed instruments, enhanced 3D-HD vision for surgeons and greater capabilities for instrument attachment, which customizes each surgery for the patient and surgeon.