History was made at Rapides Regional Medical Center on Dec. 21 as surgeon Meyer Kaplan, M.D., completed the first surgery using a robotic system in the hospital’s history.

But it wasn’t just any robotic system.

The da Vinci Xi Surgical System used by Dr. Kaplan is the most technologically advanced robotic system available, providing surgeons with revolutionary anatomical access. And it is only available in Central Louisiana at Rapides Regional Medical Center.

“We are proud that Rapides Regional Medical Center is the first and only area hospital with the da Vinci Xi,” said CEO Jason Cobb. “Many of our surgeons had been requesting the use of the da Vinci system. Also, surgeons work on robotic systems during medical school and during their training. We are glad we’ve been able to provide this to our surgeons and to our patients.”

The da Vinci Surgical System is a tool that utilizes advanced, robotic, computer and optical technologies to assist surgeons during an operation. It does not act on its own as its movements are controlled by the surgeon. The da Vinci has a 3D high-resolution vision system, special instruments and computer software to allow surgeons to operate with enhanced vision, precision, dexterity and control.

Launched in April 2014, the da Vinci Xi has broader capabilities than previous generations of the da Vinci system. The Xi can be used across a wide spectrum of minimally invasive surgical procedures, including general surgery, ENT, urology, gynecology and cardiac.

The da Vinci Xi’s advanced technology uses four robotic arms to take surgery beyond the limits of the human hand. This provides surgeons with greater precision, control and access to hard-to-reach areas, allowing complex operations to be performed through just a few small incisions.

The Xi also can perform multi-quadrant surgery without needing to be re-positioned. This allows surgeons to perform more complex procedures.

For patients, the benefits are numerous, beginning with less pain and fewer side effects. The da Vinci Xi provides smaller incisions, less blood loss, reduced risk of infection, shorter hospital stays and a quicker return to normal activities.

“We already had an outstanding surgical team,” said Cobb. “The da Vinci Xi will make having surgery at Rapides Regional even better for our patients.”