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Published on February 25, 2010

Overlake Hosts Student Robotics Competition

Bellevue, WA – Overlake Hospital Medical Center invited students from several Eastside-area high school robotics clubs to try their hand at using the hospital’s newly acquired da Vinci Surgical System, the latest advancement in minimally invasive surgery. The students didn’t perform any surgical procedures, but instead competed against each other as they tested their abilities on some of the typical skill-building tasks surgeons use to learn the robotics-enhanced system. The event was held on Thursday, February 25.


“We decided to introduce our new da Vinci Surgical System to the community by inviting the community in to use it,” said Patrick Moody, Director of Marketing and Public Relations. “We learned that nearly every high school has their own robotics club or class, so we knew they would have a lot of interest and enthusiasm for the competition. Since these students are the people who may be using or designing systems like these in the future, we felt they would be an ideal group to share the new technology with.”


Team members each got a chance to sit at the console and use the robotic instruments to perform the specified challenge. The team that completed the challenge the fastest was declared the winner. Teams from Eastlake, Issaquah, Redmond, Newport and Lake Washington high schools, along with Bellevue’s International School, participated in the event. First place went to the team from Issaquah High School and earned them a trophy and a $100 gift certificate to Fry’s Electronics. Bellevue’s International School took second and received a $50 gift certificate to Fry’s.


In early January, with the help of generous donations to the Overlake Hospital Foundation, Overlake took delivery of the $2 million da Vinci Surgical System. The state-of-the-art system provides surgeons with all the clinical and technical capabilities of traditional open surgery while enabling them to operate through tiny incisions. The system offers a detailed three-dimensional view of the surgical field, a significant improvement over the 2D view provided by laparoscopic surgical equipment. In addition, the robotic arms offer surgeons an extensive range of motion that’s simply not possible with the human body. Multiple patient benefits include reduced trauma to the body, reduced blood loss, less post-operative pain and discomfort and faster recovery times. Overlake began using the da Vinci on
March 2. Initially, it will be used for gynecological and urological surgeries.