BUSINESS: OU Medical & DaVinci

ou medicalThere is more to OU Medical Center Edmond than one might think. Some may consider this a small hospital but they are leaders when it comes to the latest surgery technology, and the expertise and experience to use that technology.

“We are not just a small-town hospital, but have the big technology that other larger hospitals might have. Only Edmond has it newer, faster and better,” said Leslie Buford, director of community relations.

Their newest technology, known as DaVinci, was acquired in October 2010. At that time, it was and is still used for mainly gynecological procedures under the direction of Dr. Michael Glass, current director of robotics for the hospital. It is the newest advancement in laparoscopic-type surgery. Where traditional laparoscopic surgery uses straight rods, DaVinci is flexible, allowing more maneuverability within the body.

After the FDA approved the robot for gallbladder surgery in December 2011, Dr. Brandon Kilgore performed the first single incision gallbladder surgery in Oklahoma in February using this robot. This was the first step towards expanding the use of this new robotic technology to other types of surgery.

The thought of surgery may bring to mind incisions, so one might wonder why it is considered noninvasive or “scarless” surgery. The robot actually enters the body through the navel, which is considered a natural scar area. So when they sew up the single incision, it is contained within the larger natural scar of the navel.

What also makes DaVinci special is it has smaller “hands” that are flexible enough to work within the body. It has four arms to do the work. A physician sits at a high-definition console and manipulates the arms via joystick-type controls. Because it is less invasive surgery it has several benefits like shorter recovery times, less likelihood of infection and less blood loss.

OU Medical Center Edmond is only one of 20 hospitals in the country to do this type of surgery. DaVinci is allowing OU Medical Center Edmond to do surgeries that other hospitals throughout the state just can’t do.

This fall, Dr. Hamilton Le, general surgeon, will use the robot to perform bariatric surgery. Dr. Ashby Bowen, urologist and Enid native, will be joining the staff this summer. He has been specially trained in the use of DaVinci and will be using it in his practice to treat various male urinary problems.

This Edmond hospital might appear small, but they have a lot to offer. They are certainly one of the “big dogs” in the national medical field. To discover more about OU Medical Center Edmond and read about Dr. Kilgore’s breakthrough gallbladder surgery, go to

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