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Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Performs Historic First Single-Port Robotic Surgery

Image of U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. (Dr.) Brandon R. Garren, the service chief of the Department of Urology at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, poses for a photo in the operating room. The center recently implemented a single-port robotic surgical system. (Photo: Ricardo Reyes-Guevara, Department of Defense). . U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. (Dr.) Brandon R. Garren, the service chief of the Department of Urology at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, poses for a photo in the operating room. The center recently implemented a single-port robotic surgical system. (Photo: Ricardo Reyes-Guevara, Department of Defense).

Walter Reed unveiled its new single-port robotic surgical system, becoming the first Department of Defense facility, and the first military hospital in the National Capital Region, to use the newly FDA-approved medical device.

“This is one of the most transformative technological advances across disciplines right now, reshaping how we approach surgical disease,” said U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. (Dr.) Brandon R. Garren, who with his team today, performed a minimally invasive surgery on a patient with an enlarged prostate. Garren, the service chief of the Department of Urology at Walter Reed, worked with a multidisciplinary team that trained for months to perform today’s milestone surgery.

During the groundbreaking procedure, Garren utilized a console with hand and foot controls to command the robots, while a second surgeon stood by to supervise the way the surgical instruments worked. Garren controlled the robot's motions, adjusting its precision with his hand and foot gestures, while a series of robotic arms picked up and manipulated the surgical instruments.

Robotic surgery has exponentially improved outcomes for patients: minimizing scarring, improving recovery times and post-operative pain – as well as reducing hospital stays. The technology has wide-ranging applications for a variety of surgical procedures including coronary artery bypass, joint replacement, organ transplantation, gynecological operations, and cancer treatments.

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