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Published on November 21, 2008

Mercy kicks off kids' contest to name new daVinci surgical robot

CEDAR RAPIDS-Mercy Medical Center , 701, 10th St. SE , is kicking off a "Name the Robot" contest, beginning Sat., Nov. 22.  The contest gives area children, grades K-5, an opportunity to submit a name for Mercy's new daVinci surgical robot, as well as complete a robot coloring page.  A panel of judges, comprised of Mercy employees, will choose a winner in the Best Name category as well as two winners (grades K-2 and 3-5) for most artistic coloring.  The Best Name winner will receive a behind-the-scenes tour of Mercy's surgery department for his/her classmates and families.  The two winners of the coloring contest will each win a $25 Target gift card.  Contest entries must be received by Mon., Dec. 22.   All submitted art work will be displayed for public viewing in Mercy's Lundy Pavilion in January.

The robot naming contest is just one way the hospital is marking the arrival of its new daVinci Surgical System.  The system allows doctors to use a special console with hand and foot controls to manipulate tiny robotic arms and a 3-D camera eye to perform intricate procedures that require a high degree of precision.  Mercy is currently using the daVinci robot for minimally invasive treatments for prostate cancer and gynecological issues.

"The daVinci robot offers a new level of precision and state-of-the-art tools for surgeons, enhancing the level of care provided to Mercy's patients," says Tim Charles, President & CEO at Mercy. "It's the latest example of our commitment to provide the very best technology to complement our compassionate care known as The Mercy Touch."

Because surgeries performed with the daVinci robot allow a surgeon to make small cuts versus making longer, open incisions, recovery time is dramatically shortened and patients can return to an active lifestyle much more quickly. Other benefits include reduced trauma to the body, reduced blood loss and need for transfusions, less post-operative pain and discomfort, less risk of infection and less scarring.

"Recent advancements in minimally invasive surgery, such as the daVinci robot, mean that patients have more alternatives to conventional open surgery than they did just a few years ago," says Jason Rexroth, MD, Linn County OB/GYN.  "For example, a woman undergoing a traditional hysterectomy might take four to six weeks to recover, whereas a hysterectomy performed with the daVinci requires only about two weeks of recovery time."

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