The surgery is called a Duodenal Switch.
What's special about it is that Dr. Steve Marshall is performing it with a robot. He said, "The robot will move and therefore the hook ups that we use seem to go better. I can see better."
The Medical Director of Bariatric Surgery at OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria said this procedure refigures part of the digestive system. It shrinks the stomach and it makes it so fewer calories are absorbed.
What's fascinating - he's doing it with the step of a pedal and a few hand motions. On top of that, he's not even near the patient. He's about ten feet away.
He said, "These people have large abdomens and it's physically sometimes kind of difficult to get the ports to work how we want them to. The robot really doesn't care how much they weigh."
Another bonus to robotic surgery -- no big incision and no wound complications, making it a safer procedure.
Dr. Marshall said it's a win-win for both him and the patient. "In my opinion you can see so much better minimally invasive. You get better exposure and the procedure just goes smoother and the post-op recovery is a lot better."
He said right now the robot is used in mostly abdominal procedures, but he expects that to change. "I think that it's in the wave of the future," Dr. Marshall said.
Dr. Marshall said this particular surgery is one of the most effective for those struggling with obesity. He said to his knowledge, he is the only doctor doing this procedure using only a robot.