April 17, 2024- Cook County Health cut the ribbon today on its Intuitive da Vinci® surgical system, celebrating the health system’s new robotic surgery program. 

Robotic-assisted surgery allows surgeons to perform many different complex procedures with more flexibility. The process is often less invasive than traditional surgery because it is performed through smaller incisions.

Cook County Health will use the da Vinci® surgical system to perform general, cardiothoracic, colorectal, head & neck, gynecological and urologic surgeries at John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital. View a video about the program here.

“Today we are recognizing the tremendous work Cook County Health has done to break down the racial, gender, and socioeconomic barriers to advanced surgical care,” Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said. “In making robotic surgery possible at Stroger Hospital, Cook County Health is demonstrating its commitment to health equity and advancement to ensure patients receive the highest quality of care.”

The robotic surgery program represents an $11 million investment over seven years to bring the latest surgical technology to Cook County Health.

“Robotic surgery is an investment in our system. More importantly, it’s an investment in our patients and the care they receive, and therefore an investment in the communities we serve,” said Dr. Erik Mikaitis, Interim CEO, Cook County Health.

There are many benefits to robotic surgery over traditional surgical methods. Robotic surgery enables surgeons to perform complex surgeries through very small incisions, resulting in:

  • Less blood loss during the procedure
  • Less pain after the procedure
  • Less scarring and fewer complications
  • Shorter recovery time

“I am thrilled that our patients can receive access to the highest levels of care with best-in-class technology,” said Dr. Alexander Sauper, Chair of Surgical Critical Care and head of the robotics steering committee. “The robotic system gives the surgeon a high-definition and magnified view of the surgical field. The instruments move like a human hand but with a greater range of motion, allowing for smaller, more precise cuts.”

In 2023, more than 10,000 surgeries were performed at Stroger Hospital. Cook County Health expects to perform more than 500 robotic-assisted surgeries this year, with plans to continue to grow the program year-over-year. 

For more information about Cook County Health’s robotic surgery program, visit https://cookcountyhealth.org/robotic-assisted-surgery/