Even as a nurse, Susan Rivera was surprised by how well she recovered after undergoing surgery herself at Banner Desert Medical Center. 

The 56-year-old Mesa woman needed to have part of her colon removed to fix a stricture in her large intestine.  

“Two or three days after surgery, I was doing remarkable, especially considering the extent of the surgery I had,” Rivera said. 

A surgeon treated Rivera using the “da Vinci Xi Surgical System,” a technological leap forward in replacing large-incision abdominal surgeries (open surgery) with a minimally invasive approach. The system also makes surgeries less invasive, speeds up recovery time, and the results are getting positive marks from surgeons and patients alike.

This technology can be used across a wide spectrum of minimally invasive surgical procedures, and is used for complex surgeries that treat multiple issues. This includes complex diseases and conditions in colon and rectal surgery, gynecology, urology, and thoracic and general surgery.

The system is also used at other Banner facilities in Arizona. This includes Banner Thunderbird Medical Center in Glendale, Banner Ironwood Medical Center in Queen Creek, Banner Boswell Medical Center in Sun City, Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix, and Banner – University Medical Center Tucson.

“The da Vinci Xi System is a major advancement compared to prior generations of the da Vinci System,” said Hekmat Hakiman, MD, a colorectal surgeon who performs this procedure at Banner Desert. “It enables us to perform complex, multi-quadrant surgeries. The system provides us with more efficient access to the abdominal cavity, and has a 3D view and improved instrumentation.”

The da Vinci Xi system uses four robotic arms that provide surgeons with greater precision, control and access to areas that are otherwise hard to reach. Surgeons control the movements of the arms, performing complex surgeries with only a few small incisions. The robotic arms include mechanical wrists that bend and rotate in ways similar to the movements of a human wrist.