First Fallopian Tube Reconnection Surgery With da Vinci™ Surgical System in the U.S. 

San Ramon, Calif. (August 14, 2000) - On August 11, an infertility specialist at San Ramon Regional Medical Center became the first surgeon in the United States to successfully perform a fully endoscopic fallopian tube reconnection surgery using the latest minimally invasive technology.

Donald I. Galen, M.D., used the new da Vinci™ Surgical System to perform microsurgical tubal reanastomosis (reversal) on Charlene Olden, 35, who underwent tubal ligation eight years ago. Traditionally, this procedure is performed through an open abdominal incision.

By contrast, using the da Vinci™ Surgical System, Dr. Galen was able to perform the procedure endoscopically through small, pencil size incisions. The benefits to the patient having this new minimally invasive procedure include less scarring and a shorter recovery than with traditional open surgery. Additionally, the da Vinci™ Surgical System is designed to assist surgeons in achieving a higher level of accuracy and dexterity.

During the procedure, the surgeon used a console near the operating table for a three-dimensional view of the surgical field. Endowrist™ Instruments and a viewing camera were inserted into the patient's abdomen through small incisions. As the surgeon performed the surgery from the console, the instruments replicated his natural movements at the operative site through the small incisions. These instruments are designed to provide surgeons the feel as if their wrists, hands and fingers are actually at the surgical site with full dexterity.

Currently, approximately eleven million women aged 15 to 44 rely on tubal sterilization for contraception. Six percent of women undergoing tubal sterilization will eventually seek information about reversal.

Donald I. Galen, M.D. is a board-certified Obstetrician/Gynecologist who specializes in infertility and gynecologic microsurgery. Dr. Galen, whose office is in San Ramon, is also an Assistant Clinical Professor of OB/GYN at the University of California, Davis, and teaches endoscopic surgical techniques.

The da Vinci™ Surgical System from Intuitive Surgical Inc. is a computer-enhanced surgical system designed to make minimally invasive techniques easier and simplify difficult surgical procedures.

San Ramon Regional Medical Center is part of Tenet HealthSystem (NYSE:THC), which through its subsidiaries, owns and operates 110 acute care hospitals with 26,939 beds and numerous related health care services. The company employs approximately 106,000 people serving communities in 17 states and services its hospitals from a Dallas-based operations center. Tenet can be found on the World Wide Web at

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