CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Robot-assisted surgery is paying off for Thomas Memorial Hospital.
When the da Vinci Si Surgical System hit the hospital three years ago, administrators were concerned about its worth.
But now, 15 doctors work with the robots, and they are in use each day, said Bob Gray, senior vice president of business development of Thomas Health System, in Thursday's Board of Trustees meeting.
About 800 robot-assisted surgeries have been completed since then.
Gray said Thomas was one of just 100 hospitals in the country last year that were using technology such as the single-site gallbladder surgery, in which the robot-assisted surgery makes just one quarter-size incision at the belly-button.
"What's amazing about this system is the recovery and the efficiency for doctors and ultimately our patients," Gray said. "It's a lot less tissue damage, a lot less blood loss and a lot quicker recovery time for those patients."
"I remember there was a question about whether it would be fully utilized or expensive," said Steve White, chairman of Thomas Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees.