Pace HS students test drive surgical robot

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POSTED: Wednesday, March 19, 2014 - 6:39pm

UPDATED: Thursday, March 20, 2014 - 8:23am

Students at James Pace Early College High School in Brownsville got an exclusive opportunity to test drive Valley Baptist's da Vinci surgical robot. The robot is capable of performing various surgeries using a minimally invasive approach.

"You can do general surgery, you can do ear nose and throat, you can do heart surgery, you can do thoraxic surgery, you can do general surgeries, you can do urologies," said Valley Baptist Medical Center OB/GYN Jose Nieves. 

The da Vinci robot allows people to control and maneuver tiny instruments, like a real surgeon does. The demonstration robot even keeps score like a video game.

"You hear about it and it sounds difficult, but when you actually see it here, see how it works and how easy it is and manufactures this, it really gives them a different awareness, you know, and say 'I could take this path, I could do this, you know as, for a living," said Pace High School principal Rose Longoria.

And for many students, it did spark an interest.

"Yes, it was a simulation of a surgery and it was very interesting," said Pace High School student Marla Avila. 

"I did the actual robot, the one right here behind me," said Pace High School student Michael Fernandez Delgado. "Just moving the rubber bands around and watching the presentation at the same time...I loved it."

"I would do it for fun," said Pace High School student Michael Mata.

"This thing is just so amazing I guess," said Pace High School student George Luna. "And I guess it's gonna be really good for our community, for our world, our generation."

And in addition to smaller incisions, the surgical robot seems to have positive outcomes.

One of the major advantages of the da Vinci surgical robot is that it cuts recovery time in half.

"All these patients have been benefiting from it because they get home quicker, they get back to driving in a week, they get back to work between one and three weeks," said George Luna.

And since it's come to Brownsville in 2012, it's helped hundreds.

"It's over 300 by now," said  I mean we've done over 300 surgeries by now. "

Reporting in Brownsville, Marty Watson, KVEO News Center 23.

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