EMMC Leading the Way in Robotic Surgeries 

One of the most skilled surgeons at Eastern Maine Medical Center doesn’t actually lift a finger in the operating room. Towering over its patients, it instead just waits for its controller, Dr. Michelle Toder, to make the moves.Dr. Toder said, “It has four arms, three of them are working arms and one is actually the camera arm. They’re almost like a crab. Giant arms that will come up over the patient and be fixed in place.”The machine Toder is describing is the robot she has been using to help her with surgeries for the last few years.”The view is spectacular. I have a visor and my joystick, essentially, with a view of the table,” said Toder.It has become a tool she doesn’t like to practice without.The bariatric, or weight-loss, surgeon said, “It’s magnified and it’s a high definition picture. So, you could use your very old TV from the 1970s or you can get a giant flat screen. We’ve all elected to take the better picture to watch your hockey game. Wouldn’t you want that for your surgeon doing your operation?”Her success with the procedures caught the attention of a surgical robotics company based in California. “We met with the CEO of the company who said, you know, you guys have something special,” said Toder.They dubbed EMMC the epicenter for robotic general and bariatric surgery in the country, and now Toder and her staff have become the guiding hands for surgeons, elsewhere.She said, “We’ve had surgeons coming from all over the country, from other countries, it’s been incredible.”