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Lehigh Valley Health Network Adds Second da Vinci 5 Robot

Latest patient-centered technology arrives in Bethlehem

Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) continues to validate its position as the region’s most advanced medical center, offering the latest technology for better patient care. We were one of first hospitals and health systems in the world – and the only one in Pennsylvania – to install and use the newest robotic surgery system, da Vinci 5, manufactured by Intuitive Surgical, at our Lehigh Valley Hospital (LVH)–Cedar Crest location. We are now expanding our capabilities with a second da Vinci 5 surgical system at LVH–Muhlenberg, Bethlehem.

“This robotic platform is a result of years of research and its evolution is geared toward benefiting both the patient and the physician,” says James Miller, CRNA, President of LVHN’s Northampton Region and Senior Vice President of Lehigh Valley Institute for Surgical Excellence. “We want everyone who comes to the institute for care to have every advantage we can provide.”

“Robotic surgery – which isn’t actually performed by a robot, the surgeon is in the driver’s seat – allows patients to have a more desirable experience.” - Michael Pasquale, MD

The newest generation da Vinci 5 platform offers these upgrades:

  • New controllers for surgeon tremor make procedures smoother and more precise.
  • An improved 3D imaging system gives surgeons a better view and supports future technology.
  • “Force Feedback” enables surgeons to sense and measure the force exerted on tissue.
  • A redesigned console allows surgeons to customize their seat so they’re more comfortable.

The use of robotic surgery has been rising since the first operation, a neurosurgical biopsy, on a human patient 38 years ago. LVHN introduced the technology in 2008. Today, the robotic surgery program at Lehigh Valley Institute for Surgical Excellence is robust and growing, with 18 robotic surgery systems across 15 specialties. There have been nearly 40,000 robotic procedures completed here as of June 2024. The newest da Vinci 5 will be operational in the areas of general surgery, urogynecology, gynecologic oncology, gastrointestinal surgery and more.

Since the implementation of the da Vinci 5 at LVH–Cedar Crest, LVHN surgeons are reducing surgical times an average of 17 minutes per case. This means shorter time for patients in the operating room and less time under anesthesia. 

“Robotic surgery – which isn’t actually performed by a robot, the surgeon is in the driver’s seat – allows patients to have a more desirable experience,” says Michael Pasquale, MD, Physician in Chief, Lehigh Valley Institute for Surgical Excellence. “By nature, it involves smaller incisions, which mean less blood loss, less pain and a quicker return to their normal activity. I think everyone can relate to spending less time in recovery.” 

LVHN introduced the da Vinci 5 robotic system at LVH–Muhlenberg in July 2024.

Robotic Surgery

Welcome to the largest, most advanced robotic surgery program in the region. We’ve completed more than 80,000 procedures since the program began in 2008, using 17 robotic surgery systems across all Lehigh Valley Health Network campuses. Our 250-plus highly skilled surgeons use this technology to treat cancer and other conditions with precision.

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