A four-month-old boy from Des Moines is the youngest and smallest person in the world to have a surgery performed by a new robot system. Dr. Michael Irish performed the operation March 20th at Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines with what’s called the da Vinci surgical system. Irish says the robot moves with more degrees of motion than his fingers, and the instruments are no more than seven millimeters in diameter.Irish says it’s really like operating as if he were a two inch person standing inside the patient’s abdomen or chest. The system makes a very small incision, and a camera helps surgeons “see” inside their patient’s body. Irish says doing surgery with the robotic system is a great improvement over laparoscopic surgery which inserts a camera inside the abdomen to monitor the movement of instruments. Irish performed the surgery on the four-month old boy who couldn’t keep his food down. The infant weighed just 14 pounds, and Irish operated on the boy’s stomach and esophagus to fix the severe “reflux” problem.
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