Doctors at University Hospitals in Iowa City are preparing to try out a robotic helper in surgery.University of Iowa urology professor Dr. Howard Winfield says the da Vinci Surgical System will allow doctors to make a small incision in the patient’s body and do everything else by remote control.The doctor sits at a computer console and uses joysticks to operate the robot’s super-small instruments by remote control. The screen shows the body in three-D and is magnified up to twelve times. The small instruments can be used in hard-to-reach areas and turned in ways that would be impossible with a normal wrist. Dr. Winfield says the precise work has several advantages for the patient, including less pain, less time in the hospital and a faster recovery.Dr. Winfield says surgeons and nurses are still training on the da Vinci System which cost one-point-eight million dollars. It should be ready for operations by early fall. Information about the system can be viewed online at “”.