Humber Performs First Gastrectomy with da Vinci Xi Surgical System

In May 2023, Humber River Health (Humber) celebrated a significant milestone in the field of surgical innovation, as Dr. Quoc Huynh, Dr. Lazar Klein, and their skilled team completed the hospital's first gastrectomy utilizing the da Vinci Xi surgical system. This achievement is a testament to Humber's pioneering spirit, having been the first community hospital in Canada to acquire a da Vinci surgical robot back in 2012.

A gastrectomy is a surgical procedure in which all or part of the stomach is removed. This procedure is typically performed to treat stomach issues such as cancer, benign tumors, severe ulcers, or intractable bleeding. With recent advances in medical technology, gastrectomies can be performed laparoscopically or even robotically, such as with the da Vinci Xi surgical system. These minimally invasive methods involve several small incisions rather than a single large one, reducing recovery time and decreasing the risk of complications. Humber has harnessed the extraordinary capabilities of da Vinci Xi, which is revolutionizing the landscape of gastrectomies.

The da Vinci Xi surgical system is a sophisticated robotic-assisted surgical platform designed by Intuitive Surgical®. It was designed with the goal of further facilitating minimally invasive surgery across a wider spectrum of procedures, extending into more complex and multi-quadrant surgeries. The da Vinci Xi mimics the surgeons' hand movements through its four interactive robotic arms equipped with precision instruments, providing the surgeon with a great degree of flexibility and reach. It filters out even the slightest tremors, enhancing the safety and effectiveness of every procedure. Such features facilitate outcomes such as less pain, less blood loss, shorter hospital stays, and quicker return to everyday life for patients.

With enhanced 3D high-definition vision, surgeons gain unparalleled depth perception, ensuring precision in every surgical procedure. "The next evolution of laparoscopic technology is visualization and a range of motion that we don't have with a laparoscope," explains Dr. Huynh, Head of General Surgery. “The da Vinci Xi can do a lot more, making the operation easier and safer."

By adopting the da Vinci Xi, Humber continues to broaden the range of surgeries offered, extending now to treatment for prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, and renal and rectal cancers, as well as ventral hernia repair and hysterectomy. The advanced technology will also make a meaningful difference to individuals across the province with complex medical needs who have limited surgical options. "This technology is not only about advancing our surgical program," says Dr. Luke Fazio, Head of Urology, reflecting on the da Vinci Xi. "We improve patient care and patient lives every time we use it. We can treat more and more conditions in a minimally invasive way."

Humber's adoption of the da Vinci Xi is part of a broader vision to maximize technology as an enabler of higher-quality care. It is not just a transformative tool for today's surgeons, but also poised to inspire the next generation of surgeons and set new standards in patient care, making the benefits of robotic surgery a mainstay in future medical practice. Compared to the current da Vinci model, the Xi allows Humber's talented surgeons to operate at an entirely new level, essentially launching the program a decade into the future.

"Humber has a long history of commitment to innovation and technology, and it's still doing things that are currently on the forefront," says Dr. Huynh. “We were one of the first community service programs to have a robot and Humber continues to support us, wanting us to do more and push the frontier of what we can do to help patients."

The successful robot-assisted gastrectomy signifies the hospital's unwavering commitment to surgical innovation. It also marks a significant step forward in Humber's mission to deliver the most advanced, patient-centered care possible, always pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved in healthcare.