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SUNY Downstate Medical Center

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Robotics Program


SUNY Downstate Medical Center acquired its first Intuitive da Vinci robotic surgical platform in 2005 based on the former President Dr. John LaRosa's foresight to pursue the center of excellence in minimally invasive surgery at the only academic institution and medical school in Brooklyn. With more reported clinical benefits and improved techniques, The Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology proceeded to establish the gynecologic robotic surgery program in January 2009 under the leadership of Dr. Yi-Chun Lee, Director of Gynecologic Oncology at SUNY Downstate. With great enthusiasm from the departmental faculty and community physicians, as well as integration of robotic surgical training into the OB/GYN residency and Gynecologic Oncology fellowship programs, our gynecologic robotic surgery program has been growing rapidly and is currently the leading clinical service at Downstate, with approximately 200 cases performed in 2014.

The current Intuitive robotic surgical platform at SUNY Downstate is the dual console da Vinci Si with Simulator Pack, which was upgraded in early 2013. The dual console system provides the opportunity for training and proctoring starting surgeons, and the Simulator also enables the residents and fellows to sharpen their skills in a virtual environment without needing an animal lab. The gynecologic operations performed on the robotic surgical platform include most major general gynecologic, oncologic, and urogynecologic procedures. From extrafascial hysterectomy, myomectomy, sacrocolpopexy, to radical hysterectomy, pelvic and para-aortic lymphadenectomy, small and large bowel resection and even posterior pelvic exenteration have been performed by the departmental surgeons.