El Insular performs 81 robotic surgeries on cancer patients

Members of the General and Digestive Surgery Service of the Insular Hospital.

Members of the General and Digestive Surgery Service of the Insular Hospital.

The professionals of the General and Digestive Surgery Service of the Insular University Hospital of Gran Canaria, Insular-Maternal-Infant University Hospital Complex, a center attached to the Ministry of Health of the Canary Islands Government, have carried out, from the April 1, 2019, a total of 80 and a procedures of Oncologic surgery with the Da Vinci surgical robot. Specifically, a total of fifty anterior rectal resections, twenty-one sigmoidectomies, six gastrectomies with D2 lymphadenectomy, two esophagectomies in abdominal and thoracic fields, and two corporo-caudal pancreatectomies have been performed with very good results.

The Da Vinci surgical robot is a technology advanced technology that has significant advantages: it eliminates functional tremor at the time of operating; increases the range of movement of the instruments to 360º, making it possible to operate in anatomical regions with less technical requirement than laparoscopy; improves visualization during surgery, allowing to preserve structures of vital importance for the proper functioning of organs and systems (for example, pelvic nerves) by incorporating systems of 3D vision real without requiring the help of glasses, thus reducing surgeon fatigue; It improves not only the ergonomics of the surgeon but also of the patient, since the surgical table that it incorporates is paired with the robotic system and adapts its movements to those of the working arms to reduce the tension of the skin at the level of the incisions.

It is important to select the cases in which robotic surgery has provided the highest cost-benefit to date, such as oncological surgery of the rectum, esophagus, stomach, and pancreatic surgery.

The General and Digestive Surgery Service of the Hospital Universitario Insular de Gran Canaria led by Dr. Juan Ramón Hernández Hernández, head of the service and professor of Surgery at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, has four surgeons who are currently accredited to performing Robotic Surgery: Doctors Eudaldo López Tomasetti Fernández, Antonio Navarro Sánchez, Gabriel García Plaza and Iván Soto Darias. In addition, a fifth surgeon is immersed in his training program.

Given the multiple advantages, it is convenient to gradually increase the number of cases to be performed, being aware that the selection of pathologies is essential to be able to continue with an adequate Robotic Surgery program at the Maternal-Infant Insular University Hospital Complex.


This robotic assistant has four arms that transmits the movements performed by surgeons through a console in which they also have a 3-D view of the interior of the patient. The surgeon controls the robotic arm that offers a 360º turning capacity, impossible for the human hand to reach.

The robot is made up of three elements: surgical console, control unit, robotic arms, and vision tower. The console is the place where the surgeon directs the procedure by controlling the fiber optic and instruments using manipulators and foot pedals. The control unit is the place where the patient is positioned and has four moveable and interchangeable arms, while the vision tower is the central image processing and processing unit. The surgical table is synchronized with the robot.


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