High school students at Signal Mountain Middle High School will have an up close encounter with the da Vinci Surgical System this Thursday. Pediatric surgeon Curt S. Koontz, M.D., with University Surgical Associates will spend the day talking to groups of students about the robotic surgical system before letting them experience a simulated robotic-assisted surgery for themselves.
Dr. Koontz is just one of three pediatric general surgeons in the entire southeast performing robotic-assisted surgery.
“While I’ve been using minimally invasive techniques for years, the robotic system offers a better range of motion for certain surgical procedures in pediatric patients,” says Dr. Koontz who believes the technology greatly impacts our region for the better. “Parents don’t have to leave this community to get highly advanced surgical care for their children. It’s right here in Chattanooga.” Dr. Koontz operates at Children’s Hospital at Erlanger.
"The da Vinci Surgical System is a tool that utilizes advanced, robotic, computer and optical technologies to assist specially-trained surgeons with operations. It does not act on its own and its movements are controlled by the surgeon. The da Vinci Surgical System has a 3D high definition (3D-HD) vision system, special instruments and computer software that allow the surgeon to operate with enhanced vision, precision, dexterity and control. The 3D-HD image is highly magnified, so the surgeon has a close-up view of the area he or she is operating on. The da Vinci instruments have mechanical wrists that bend and rotate to mimic the movements of the human wrist – allowing the surgeon to make small, precise movements inside the body," officials said.