UHealth: Leader in Breakthrough Technology

Becomes the first academic medical center in the world to use the new da Vinci® Xi™ Surgical System

MIAMI, Fla. (April 23, 2014) — Building on its growing reputation as a leader in the use of breakthrough technology, UHealth - University of Miami Health System, has become the first academic medical center in the world to use the new da Vinci® Xi™ Surgical System. The procedure, a prostatectomy, was performed by Dipen Parekh, M.D., professor and chairman of urology and Director of Robotic Surgery, at the University of Miami Hospital, the flagship hospital of UHealth, and is one of the surgical options available to patients at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.

“Offering our expertise in robotic-assisted surgeries is a clear benefit for our patients,” said Parekh, who is a member of the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and a leading specialist in robotic and conventional urologic oncology surgical procedures. “The da Vinci Xi technology allows us to provide state-of-the-art technological advancements to our patients facing complex surgical procedures, and propels the UHealth and Sylvester medical teams to pave the way in clinical care.”

“Having the da Vinci Xi system is a distinct advantage that has truly put Sylvester at the leading edge of urologic cancer care,” said Stephen D. Nimer, M.D., Director of Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. “Placing the most current technologies, such as the da Vinci Xi robot in the hands of the incredibly talented and experienced surgeons we have at UM, such as Dipen Parekh, means we can offer cancer patients the very best combination of skill and technology. Sylvester is proud to add this capability to our ever growing expertise in the fight against cancer.”

The da Vinci Xi, which was made available to surgeons on April 1, has broader capabilities than prior generations of the da Vinci system, with the adaptability to be used across an array of surgeries in urology, gynecology, thoracic, cardiac, and general surgery. Minimally invasive surgery allows a quicker recovery time, less pain, less bleeding and shorter hospitalization. The Xi possesses 3D-HD visualization, giving surgeons a highly magnified view, virtually extending their eyes and hands into the patient.

The da Vinci Xi system’s new overhead arm architecture provides the surgeon anatomical access from virtually any position, simplifying multi-quadrant surgeries. Smaller, thinner arms coupled with longer instrument shafts permit greater range of motion and more flexibility than ever before.

“This latest version of the da Vinci system allows us to offer more minimally invasive surgical options to more patients,” said Parekh, who is the principal investigator of a National Cancer Institute-funded trial — the only Phase III prospective, randomized trial in the nation comparing traditional open surgery with robotic surgery in bladder cancer. “Hard-to-reach tumors or those encompassing more than one organ can potentially now be approached with this more agile and visually enhanced device.”

The da Vinci Xi system comes to UHealth and Sylvester thanks to a generous gift of $1.85 million from University of Miami Trustee Paul J. DiMare and his wife, Swanee. The longtime supporters of the University have made commitments of $14.5 million to Momentum2: The Breakthrough Campaign for the University of Miami through the Paul J. DiMare Foundation. His gifts to the medical school include a recent pledge of $6 million to fund a scholarship program for Miller School medical students, the school’s largest medical education donation ever.

At a news conference Thursday morning announcing the new device at UMH, DiMare told reporters that Parekh’s ability to use this advanced technology is a great example of the difference the Miller School of Medicine makes for South Florida patients. “It is all about the doctors. The doctors are the most important part of the medical system,” DiMare said. “We have leading doctors who are tops in the field.”

Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs and Dean of the Miller School, and CEO of UHealth, brought the first FDA-approved da Vinci commercial prototype from Intuitive Surgical to perform robotic surgery in the U.S. at The Ohio State University 15 years ago. “The technical advances in robotic surgery coupled with the skill and experience of surgeons such as Dipen Parekh are what set us apart. Having the generosity of donors like Paul and Swanee means we are able to bring this expertise to our patients.”

“We cannot thank the DiMare family enough for their foresight and generosity,” said Parekh, who holds the Dr. Victor Politano Endowed Chair in Clinical Urology. “When Paul learned about the technology that had become available and how we would be able to use it to enhance treatment for our patients, he didn’t hesitate to make this possible.”


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