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Hospital says $2M robot enhances surgery, saves money

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(AP) — A Delaware hospital says its new $2.1 million robot has performed more than 50 surgeries since it was introduced.

The Beebe Medical Center’s Lewes Center for Robotic Surgery opened this summer. Robotic program head Dr. Kurt Wehberg tells The News Journal robot-assisted surgeries are less invasive than traditional procedures. And he says that translates into benefits for patients and practitioners alike.

The newspaper reports 90 percent of Beebe patients who had robot-assisted surgery didn’t need to take narcotics they likely would’ve been prescribed after a traditional procedure.

Wehberg says patients are back at work sooner, and surgeons get relief for chronic back issues that push most out by age 60. With patients spending less time recovering in the hospital, he estimates Beebe has saved up to $200,000 in monthly expenses.

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