Health News Articles

Robotic Surgery at UMCPP: More Specialties, More Options

Aug 29, 2013

University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro (UMCPP) offers one of the most comprehensive robotic surgery programs in the region and continues to expand to offer patients more choices for advanced, minimally invasive procedures that promote quicker recovery times. The hospital first began using the da Vinci Surgical System® for urologic procedures in October 2009. Since then, the program has expanded and surgeons now perform hundreds of robotic procedures each year in fields including colorectal, general surgery, gynecologic, urologic, urogynecologic and thoracic surgery. ??

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the da Vinci surgical team at UMCPP.
“In light of the benefits for patients, we feel very strongly that minimally invasive and robotic-assisted procedures are the future of surgery,” says John Heim, MD, Chairman of Surgery at UMCPP. “We devote resources to training and recruiting physicians and upgrading our technology to ensure we can perform even more of these procedures in the future.” ??

The da Vinci system provides an alternative to traditional open surgery and conventional laparoscopy, putting a surgeon’s hands at the controls of a state-of-the-art robotic platform. It enables surgeons to perform even the most complex and delicate procedures through very small incisions with unmatched precision.

How da Vinci Works

The surgeon operates while seated at a console viewing a 3D image of the surgical field. The surgeon grasps the master controls below the display. The system seamlessly translates the surgeon’s hand, wrist and finger movements into precise, real-time movements of surgical instruments inside the patient. ??

“The instruments are almost like having miniature wrists right at the site of surgery,” says Dr. Heim, who is board certified in general and thoracic surgery. “It really promotes a very successful, precise surgery with minimal blood loss.”  ??

As a result, patients may experience shorter stays, shorter recovery times, less pain and a quicker return to their daily lives, Dr. Heim says.

UMCPP's Robotic Options

The da Vinci Surgical System® is being used at UMCPP in fields including:
  • Colorectal surgery, for conditions such as colon cancer, rectal cancer, diverticulitis and inflammatory bowel disease.
  • ?General surgery.
  • Gynecologic surgery, for conditions such as cervical and uterine cancer, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, uterine and vaginal vault prolapse and menorrhagia or excessive bleeding.?
  • Thoracic surgery, for conditions such as lung cancer, chest nodules and diseases of the lymph glands.
  • Urologic surgery, for conditions such as prostate cancer and ureteral and kidney disorders.
Patients with some of the most common health conditions requiring surgery can now benefit from robotic procedures at UMCPP. ??

For more information about the da Vinci Surgical System® at UMCPP or for referral to one of our da Vinci surgeons, please call 1.888.PHCS4YOU (1.888.742.7496) or visit