Published on August 26, 2019

Essentia Health brings innovative surgical robot to Virginia

doctor standing next to the da vinci robot

Surgeries are becoming more precise, less painful and minimally invasive at Essentia Health-Virginia.

In May, Essentia introduced the da Vinci Xi Surgical System at its Virginia hospital, making it the only one north of Duluth. The surgical robot improves patient recovery time and thereby shortens hospital stays, reduces pain and, subsequently, pain medications, and allows for greater variety of surgical procedures. Options include:

  • Laparoscopic cholecystectomy
  • Hernia repair
  • Colon resection
  • Hysterectomy

By bringing this advanced technology to the Iron Range, patients also will be able to cut down on their travel time and related expenses.

“Robotic surgery technology is an investment in our community. It’s an additional tool which allows our surgical team greater flexibility for certain patient conditions, leading to improved outcomes,” said Sam Stone, Essentia Health-Virginia administrator. “Acquiring this technology is a great benefit for Virginia and the surrounding areas. It allows us to offer more local services, keeping patients in the community.”

At Essentia Health-Virginia, Dr. Ryan Watson and Dr. Kevin Riess use the da Vinci Xi Surgical System, which helps surgeons operate in hard-to-reach areas. Since May 17, they have performed more than 30 procedures.

“It’s an amazing resource for a small community,” said Dr. Watson, a general surgeon. “Our patients can have minimally invasive surgery closer to home, reducing their overall burden.”

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