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London Health Sciences Centre designated as Canada’s national training centre for robotic surgery


For Immediate Release

January 30, 2013

LONDON, Ontario –London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) is proud to have been selected by Intuitive Surgical Inc. – manufacturer of the world’s most sophisticated and widely used surgical robot, the da Vinci Surgical System - as the exclusive training centre for robotic surgery in Canada. The training centre will be an integral component of LHSC’s innovative Canadian Surgical Technologies and Advanced Robotics (CSTAR) program, known for both its pioneering work in research and development of robotic surgical technologies and its expertise in delivering high quality simulation training for surgeons and other allied healthcare providers.

“Earning the designation as Canada’s sole training centre for robotic surgery is a tremendous honour for LHSC and reinforces our position as a world-class centre for surgical innovation and research,” said Bonnie Adamson, President and CEO of LHSC. “The depth of experience and talent that resides within our CSTAR program will now be leveraged to train surgeons from across Canada in the use of the newest generation da Vinci Surgical System. Most importantly, as a result of this training, patients from coast to coast will have more access to minimally invasive procedures, which inevitably will lead to better patient outcomes.”

LHSC has recently acquired two state-of-the-art da Vinci Si robotic systems. The national training centre at LHSC will continue to move CSTAR forward in its mission to improve the safety and quality of patient care through surgical innovation.

“With the addition of the two new da Vinci Si systems, we look forward to expanding our nation-leading breadth of robotic surgical practice into new areas for our hospital, such as thoracic, transplant and paediatric surgery,” said Dr. Christopher Schlachta, Medical Director for CSTAR. “It is critical that CSTAR continues to pioneer innovations in medical technology and apply them at the bedside to ensure patients are receiving the highest quality care we can provide.”

A vital component of this innovation will be a robust evaluation of the role of robotic technology in surgery, through the ongoing evaluation of clinical effectiveness and cost-efficiency. These findings will be used to help to inform practitioners and policy makers on the efficacy of this technology to ensure that robotic innovation is applied where its results are most effective in improving patient outcomes in Canadian, and indeed global healthcare delivery.

“Given CSTAR’s proven contributions to the advancement of robotic surgery techniques and patient outcomes, LHSC was a natural choice as the Canadian training centre for robotic surgery. LHSC’s CSTAR program has a legacy of innovation in robotic surgery, with many Canadian and world firsts. Their depth of talent, world class simulation facilities and proven expertise are a welcome addition to our global training network, and will no doubt help advance robotic innovation and quality patient outcomes in Canada,” said Vanessa Owens, Director of Sales for Intuitive Surgical Inc.

Intuitive Surgical, Inc. is the global technology leader in minimally invasive robotic-assisted surgery. The Company's da Vinci Surgical System offers surgeons superior 3D HD visualization, enhanced dexterity, greater precision and control, as well as ergonomic comfort for the optimal performance of minimally invasive surgery (MIS). The da Vinci System allows surgeons to perform even complex procedures, like heart valve and cancer surgery, through 1–2 cm incisions.


About London Health Sciences Centre

London Health Sciences Centre has been in the forefront of medicine in Canada for 138 years and offers the broadest range of specialized clinical services in Ontario. Building on the traditions of its founding hospitals to provide compassionate care in an academic teaching setting, London Health Sciences Centre is home to Children’s Hospital, University Hospital, Victoria Hospital, the Kidney Care Centre, two family medical centres, and two research institutes – Children’s Health Research Institute and Lawson Health Research Institute, a joint research initiative with St. Joseph’s Health Care London. As a leader in medical discovery and health research, London Health Sciences Centre has a history of over 65 international and national firsts and attracts top clinicians and researchers from around the world. As a regional referral centre, London Health Sciences Centre cares for the most medically complex patients including critically injured adults and children in southwestern Ontario and beyond. The hospital’s nearly 15,000 staff, physicians, students and volunteers provide care for more than one million patient visits a year. For more information visit www.lhsc.on.ca


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Marek Kubow

Corporate Communications and Public Relations

London Health Sciences Centre

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Canadian Surgical Technologies and Advanced Robotics (CSTAR)

Canadian Surgical Technologies and Advanced Robotics (CSTAR), and the Brent and Marilyn Kelman Centre for Advanced Learning within, is the finest simulation skills training facility in the country. The 22,500 square-foot facility is one of the four Canadian Accredited Education Institutes of the American College of Surgeons.

CSTAR’s vision is to be an international leader in health care technology innovation. Its mission is to improve the quality and safety of care for patients through computer-assisted health care technology innovation from research and development of novel technologies to the delivery of simulation training.

Through London Health Sciences Centre, CSTAR doctors have produced a number of world and Canadian firsts in computer assisted minimally invasive surgery and have been national leaders in the introduction of robotic surgery into the Canadian health care system.

CSTAR researchers currently hold over $20 million in peer review research funding focused on minimally invasive, image-guided and robotic-assisted technologies for therapies and simulation training.