daVinci Xi robotic surgery program launches at St. Joseph Hospital

Following months of planning and approvals, the robotic surgery program at St. Joseph Hospital launched with resounding success on Friday, April 5.

General surgeons Brandon Bireley, M.D., and Cassandra Kennedy, M.D., performed a total of three procedures at SJE using the new daVinci Xi robotics surgical system. Early reports indicate outstanding outcomes and ease of use of the new technology.

Per Dr. Bireley, “This new robot is a major milestone for our community, as it expands our surgical capabilities and improves our ability to recruit and retain talented and highly skilled surgeons. The unique advantages of a robotic platform will allow us to approach complicated surgical issues in new ways and will decrease the number of patients who need to travel out of the county for surgical care.”

Dr. Bireley further shared that the entire surgical services team at SJE has been amazing in preparation for the daVinci launch and that Friday’s surgery schedule was seamless. As a special nod to the first patient who had surgery at SJE, the new daVinci robot has been named “Casey”.

Director of surgical services, Jessi Burton, R.N., has been instrumental in developing the program and working with multiple internal and external stakeholders to get the daVinci to Humboldt County. Jessi wanted to make sure a special call-out was made for the sterile processing team at SJE who have been working tirelessly to prepare equipment for the daVinci launch.

Dr. Bireley shares, “We are offering robotic cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal) currently and will very soon be adding repair of inguinal (groin) hernias and simple abdominal wall hernias. The goal is to be add additional procedures such as robotic colectomies, complex hernia repair, foregut surgery, urologic and gynecologic surgeries in the near future. Please keep in mind that the robotic platform is not appropriate for every surgery. Many factors go into deciding how best to approach each individual patient’s problems. A discussion with your surgeon is imperative to achieving your best outcome.”

Great job to all involved - administration, donors, and caregivers - for bringing this technology to our community, ensuring that our friends and family have access to the highest quality of care right here in Humboldt County!