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BRIEF: UIHC seeks to purchase $2.2 million surgical robot

Diane Heldt, The Gazette, Cedar Rapids, Iowa –

IOWA CITY – State regents next week will be asked to ratify the University of Iowa purchase of a nearly $2.2 million robotic arm used in surgery.

The UI purchase of the da Vinci Si Firefly surgical robot, at a cost of $2.185 million, was approved in December by Regents Executive Director Bob Donley. The board meets Monday and Tuesday in Ames and is asked to ratify the purchase.

Equipment purchases at the regent universities costing more than $1 million require board approval. The executive director may approve emergency purchases exceeding $1 million, to be followed later by board ratification. Donley in this case approved the purchase in December so UI officials could buy the robotic arm at a lower price.

Surgeons performs procedures using remote controls with very small instruments attached to a robot. The hospital currently has three of the robotic arms of varying ages; the oldest one will be traded in as part of this purchase.

The program has grown, and five surgical specialties use the robotic arms, including cardiology, urology and gynecology, officials said.

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