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Robotic surgery is revolutionizing the patient experience at UC Davis Health . “ It ’ s less invasive and patients recover faster ,” says Dr . Bob Kiaii , chief of cardiac surgery and robotic surgery specialist . PHOTO COURTESY OF UC DAVIS HEALTH

With over 150 years of top-notch patient care experience , it ’ s no surprise that UC Davis Health is at the forefront of innovative care through the use of technology — in areas ranging from its pioneering and major ongoing role in telemedicine and telehealth , to advanced robotic heart surgeries , to the world ’ s first full-body PET scanner .

For three decades , UC Davis Health has been a leader in telehealth clinical care and research , specializing in care for rural and underserved areas as well as the entire region . UC Davis Health also provides a virtual children ’ s hospital , complete with a Virtual Pediatric Trauma Center ( VPTC ). The VPTC , which is one of the first in the country and part of a federally-funded research project , uses videoconferencing and image-sharing technology to care for children at emergency departments across California . Dr . James Marcin , director of the UC Davis Health Center for Health and Technology , helps lead the project .
“ We are the only academic children ’ s hospital in the region and telehealth has always been on the radar of interest ,” Marcin says . Outside of having specialized trauma surgeons virtually at your bedside , he says that telehealth of any kind can also offer benefits for the patient .
“ Some video chats allow you to see more of the home life and can lead to better resources and better care experience ,” Marcin says , recounting a time when colleagues worked with a pediatric patient who was living in a tent . “ That information wouldn ’ t be available in the office .”
“ I ’ m here for the kids and my team is sharp , innovative and excited to change the way we do health care ,” he says .
SURGERY OF THE FUTURE UC Davis Health is changing the way they do health care in many areas already , including the realm of robotic surgery . Dr . Bob Kiaii , chief of cardiac surgery and a specialist in robotic surgery , says it ’ s revolutionizing the patient experience . He completed Northern California ’ s first robotic mitral valve repair surgery in 2020 and has conducted many pioneering robotic-assisted surgeries in his career .
“ Robotic surgery allows us to do exactly what our hands do , but through smaller incisions ,” Kiaii says . “ A computer has given us the degree of freedom our hands have and increased motion . It ’ s less invasive and patients recover faster .”
Kiaii says the computer-assisted operation allows for extra surgical training through simulations , for not only the
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