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Gonda Robotic Surgery Center


Gonda/UCLA Robotic Center

Through a generous gift from The Leslie and Susan Gonda (Goldschmied) Foundation and the Gonda Family Foundation, we were able to purchase two surgical robots from Intuitive Surgical, Inc.  The surgeons and operating room nurses then underwent training in the use of the Da Vinci robots, and after the training was completed, we were able to begin the use of the Da Vinci robot in the operating room in the spring of 2004. Robotic procedures are now performed almost daily. Pre-clinical testing is being performed in Liver Surgery and Vascular Surgery. A second Da Vinci robot is used in the administrative dry lab for research programs, training, and teaching.

The Da Vinci robot has the advantage of 3D vision, improved ergonomics, and a software system that eliminates tremor; it has the ability to significantly magnify the surgical field through a 3D image. The end-effecter instruments have seven degrees of freedom, which essentially means that a small 3 or 4 mm instrument can make all the movements of the human hand in a very small space. This capability greatly improves dexterity and also allows the surgeon to do things and go places that were not possible  before.

However, the current system is not perfect. It lacks haptic or tactile feedback and the ability to do telesurgery or remote surgery. Several of the CASIT research programs are designed to improve the Da Vinci robot platform in order to provide better image-directed surgery, simulation, augmented reality, and better tactile feedback. These developments require the use of microfabrication and nanotechnology, which are being developed in collaboration with the California Nanosystems Institute (CNSI) and UCLA Department of Bioengineering. The Center is exploring innovative approaches such as microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) located at the tips of the endoscopic instruments to detect tissue density, the adoption of 3D ultrasound, Doppler blood flow, microrobots to operate in cramped anatomical regions, and data mapping with a surgical robot to simulate an operation preoperatively.

Robotic Surgery Cases

Robotic surgery at UCLA is currently performed in Urology, Thoracic Surgery, Gynecology, and General Surgery.  Quarterly data are provided below:


Gonda/UCLA Robotic Surgery Center

Da Vinci robotic surgery system

Da Vinci surgical robot

Robotic surgery at UCLA