The medical center has owned the daVinci system since 2000 and was the first hospital on the West Coast to have one, Ryan said.
"The doctor sits in a console, where the actual surgeon sits," Ryan explained. "It looks like a video game and it has controls on it. The amazing thing is that the viewer screen allows the surgeon to look at the surgery site 10 times magnified, and another thing that's unusual is that it's three-dimensional."
Laparoscopic surgery is two-dimensional.
The system comes equipped with a station that can be operated by hand and foot controls, which command a separate machine with three robotic arms that can stitch, cauterize and make incisions.
"The great thing about it is that because the computer is helping to operate it, two things: It's very precise. If a surgeon gets tired, sometimes their hand shakes a bit. Well, this corrects for that," Ryan said. "The other thing that's better than a scope, a regular laparoscope, is that the end of the instrument rotates in all directions like your hand would on your arm."
Ryan said the da Vinci system is especially helpful for urologists performing prostate surgeries.