St. Joseph’s Hospital is the second Critical Access Hospital in the state to perform robotic surgery

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Published: May. 23, 2023 at 10:24 PM EDT
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BUCKHANNON, W.Va (WDTV) - St. Joseph’s Hospital in Buckhannon will now perform some robotic surgeries.

The hospital is the second Critical Access Hospital in the state to offer robotic procedures.

President and CEO of St. Joseph’s Hospital Skip Gjolberg said there are several benefits to this technology.

“The robot allows for the surgeons to do more minimally invasive procedures. So, smaller holes. They can get in their with these tools. It means faster recovery time for a patient. It means less pain because of the smaller incision,” he explained.

According to General Surgeon Dr. Susan Long, one of the three doctors trained to use the robot. The da Vinci Xi Surgical System will allow doctors to operate better in tighter spaces.

“It takes what we already do really well and makes it even better. For us and for the patients because we can get into spaces that are difficult to get into,” she explained.

The surgeries that St. Joseph’s Hospital plans to use the robot include Hernia and Gallbladder surgeries as well as Hysterectomies.

St. Joseph’s Hospital invited members of the hospital board and the media to see a demonstration of how the robot works before the first scheduled surgery on Thursday.

Attendees were able to ask questions and even take a stab at trying out the robot themselves.

While some surgeries would be done with the robot. The doctors explained the surgeon is in full control of the movements made during the procedures as the robot is just a tool.