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February 26, 2010 at 2:46 PM

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Students try out robotic surgery system at Overlake Hospital

Posted by Katherine Long

Robotics teams at several Eastside high schools got a chance to try out Overlake Hospital Medical Center's $2 million da Vinci surgical system Thursday.

The students didn't perform any surgical procedures, but instead competed against each other by doing some of the typical skill-building tasks surgeons use to learn the robotics-enhanced system.

Issaquah High School's Greg Finch brought in the winning time, performing the challenge in 24.15 seconds. Issaquah earned a trophy and $100 gift card to Fry's Electronics.

Bellevue's International School came in a close second; team member Jonathan Pyke had a time of 25.24 seconds. The International School won a $50 gift card.

Overlake acquired the da Vinci system, purchased with help from the Overlake Hospital Foundation, in early January. The system provides surgeons with all the clinical and technical capabilities of traditional open surgery, while allowing them to operate through tiny incisions, hospital officials said.

The system offers a detailed, three-dimensional view of the surgical field, an improvement over the 2D view provided by laparoscopic surgical equipment. And the robotic arms offer surgeons an extensive range of motion that's not possible with the human body.

Overlake will begin using the system in early March.

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Video | Get to know Bellevue Blog reporters Nicole Tsong and Katherine Long.