Robotic Surgery

In late 2003, CHOC became the first pediatric hospital in California to begin offering robotic surgery for children. We are proud to offer the very latest in robotic surgery technology using the da Vinci Si Firefly System. Procedures performed using robotics are done 100% by the surgeon using special tools and technology that converts the surgeon’s hand movements into the smaller, more precise movements of tiny instruments inside the body. There are many benefits to robotic surgery including smaller incisions and less scarring, a shorter hospital stay and recovery time, and less blood loss and pain.

In addition to the system’s incredible surgical capabilities, the da Vinci Si Firefly System provides surgeons with 3D, high definition views inside the patient’s body by injecting a safe, green-colored dye that is activated through infrared light. The dye allows surgeons to easily tell the difference between the healthy and unhealthy tissues while they operate.

Our surgeons are pediatric robotic surgery pioneers and have been recognized for their accomplishments internationally. They were the first in the world to perform robotic surgery on a child with a chest tumor and wrote a chapter on pediatric robotic surgery for the first robotic surgery medical textbook.

For more on robotic surgery at CHOC, please call 888-770-2462.

Julia Shenkman is a healthy and accomplished 17-year-old after undergoing robotic surgery at CHOC

Julia Shenkman holding her black belt

At age 8, Julia Shenkman was whisked to the emergency department for severe abdominal pain and frequent vomiting. Blood work and X-rays for appendicitis turned up negative. It wasn’t until Julia’s doctor at CHOC, Mustafa Kabeer, pediatric surgeon, ordered an ultrasound that the cause of her distress was found: a large mass in her right ovary. Using the Da Vinci system, Dr. Kabeer operated on Julia and successfully removed the tumor, which was malignant.