Brookings Health System Acquires da Vinci® Robotic Surgical System

Posted: 2/11/2013

Health system becomes third in South Dakota to use advanced robotic surgical technology

The new da Vinci robotic surgical system acquired by Brookings Health System will be used for a range of minimally invasive surgeries. Here a surgeon is sitting at the console, viewing HD video of the patient and using the fingertip controls. In the background, a patient lies under the patient side-cart where three interactive robotic arms transfer the surgeon’s movements.Brookings Health System announced today the organization recently added a new robotic surgical system to their operating room.

“The da Vinci® Si™ surgical system provides additional clinical benefits and efficiency in the operating room, resulting in improved patient outcomes,” said Brookings Health System Operating Room and CSR Director Candace Johnson. “Patient benefits of robotic surgery include less pain, a quicker recovery, and minimal scarring. They also have less risk of infection, blood loss, and shorter hospital stays.”

Surgeons and operating room staff are currently undergoing intensive training to use the da Vinci surgical system for a range of minimally invasive procedures. Initial procedures to begin in March will include gynecological procedures, such as hysterectomy, and general surgery procedures, such as gallbladder removal, with plans to add additional gynecological and general surgery procedures in the future.

The surgical system consists of three components: an ergonomic surgeon console, a patient-side cart with three interactive robotic arms, and a video tower which houses dedicated system processors and a high definition 3D vision system. The surgical system provides a surgeon highly magnified visualization inside the body and unparalleled precision, dexterity and control. This makes it easier for a surgeon to operate using a minimally invasive approach on many complex surgical procedures.

During a surgical procedure, the surgeon sits at the console and views HD video of the patient in two separate optical channels to create true depth perception. Finger tip controls at the console transfer the surgeon’s movements to the robotic arms on the patient-side cart. The surgeon’s motions are scaled to micromovements; every surgical movement remains under the surgeon’s direct control.

“Brookings Health System’s investment in the da Vinci robot reflects our commitment to the latest technology advancements, the best outcomes for our patients, and clinical excellence for our surgeons,” said CEO and President Jason Merkley. “Offering this resource locally to our patients and surgeons aligns closely with the health system’s vision and strategic direction. Innovation and growth are the future of Brookings Health System, and the da Vinci robot is another step towards accomplishing our goals.”

The acquisition makes Brookings Health System the third health care provider in the state to actively offer advanced robotic surgical technology.

The public will have an opportunity to test drive the da Vinci robot and learn more about robotic surgical services at Brookings Health System on Monday, March 25 at Brookings Hy-Vee from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. To watch a video of the system in action, please visit

Brookings Health System’s surgical services offers a full range of inpatient, outpatient (same-day surgery), and emergency surgical treatments provided by skilled surgeons and professional support staff. To learn more about Brookings Health System’s surgical services, please visit

About Brookings Health System

Brookings Health System, located in Brookings, South Dakota, includes a 49-bed hospital, the 79-bed Brookview Manor nursing home, and Brookhaven Estates apartments. It is a non-profit, city-owned facility that offers the community a full range of inpatient, outpatient, and extended care services. The emergency room is staffed 24 hours a day and provides around the clock medical-nursing care for patient needs ranging from minor injuries to life threatening crises. For more information about the services offered at Brookings Health System, please call (605) 696-9000 or visit us on the Web at