Advanced Surgical Technology Brought to the Bay Area 

May, 2000 - San Ramon Regional Medical Center (SRRMC), part of Tenet HealthSystem (NYSE:THC), has purchased and will be among one of the first hospitals in the country to employ a new robot designed to offer surgeons better precision and control in advanced minimally invasive procedures. Developed by Mountain View-based Intuitive Surgical, Inc., the computer-enhanced "da Vinci™ Surgical System" is expected to transform a broad range of these less traumatic procedures by making them easier to perform and more available to patients.

SRRMC invested $900,000 in the computer-enhanced Surgical System, which is awaiting final FDA approval. It will be the first hospital on the West Coast -- and the sixth hospital in the United States -- to install the da Vinci™ Surgical System. Outside of the United States, the System is currently being used in Germany, Belgium, Italy, and France.

The da Vinci™ Surgical System interposes a computer between the surgeon's hands and the tips of micro instruments. The System consists of two primary components: the surgeon's viewing and control console and the surgical arm unit that positions and maneuvers the instruments and endoscope. At the console the surgeon views a three-dimensional image of the surgical field and for every movement the surgeon makes, the System replicates the surgeon's natural hand movements outside the patient into precise micro movements inside the patient.

"The da Vinci™ Surgical System is expected to advance minimally invasive techniques. This system is designed to expand surgeons' capabilities, improve their dexterity, and give them a better level of control over their hand movements," said Dr. Barry Gardiner, SRRMC's new director of minimally invasive surgery and principal investigator for the da Vinci™ Surgical System's FDA trials in general surgery.

"San Ramon Regional Medical Center's investment in the da Vinci™ Surgical System is a natural step considering the hospital's history of expertise in minimally invasive procedures," said Gardiner.

SRRMC, the first hospital in the world to use a voice activated robot in surgery, recently launched the Bay Area Heart Institute specializing in minimally invasive "beating-heart" surgery. The da Vinci™ Surgical System will be used for the institute's "beating-heart" cardiac surgery procedures in the upcoming year, but will be employed immediately in other procedures including digestive, gynecological, orthopedic, and other surgical disciplines.

About San Ramon Regional Medical Center
SRRMC is a full-service hospital with comprehensive inpatient and outpatient services and is part of Tenet HealthSystem (NYSE:THC), which owns and operates acute care hospitals in 18 states. Since the hospital was founded in 1990, it has developed an extensive array of healthcare services and specializes in advanced minimally invasive surgery services.

About Intuitive Surgical, Inc.
Intuitive Surgical, Inc., founded in 1995 to pioneer the development of new minimally invasive surgical instrumentation and techniques, a leader in computer-enhanced surgical systems. The company began commercializing the da Vinci™ Surgical System in December 1998. To date, 16 Systems have been installed worldwide and more than 600 cases have been completed, including over 350 cardiac and approximately 250 other types of procedures, such as general, vascular, urologic, and gynecologic.


San Ramon Regional Medical Center | 6001 Norris Canyon Rd, San Ramon, CA 94583