Press Release - February 1, 2006

For Immediate Release

February 1, 2006

John Moore
Media Relations
(903) 531-4542


Center For Advanced Surgery And Technology Adds A New Surgical Robot with Breakthrough Technology

TYLER, TX – One of the world’s most advanced robotic surgical training centers, which has three da Vinci Robotic Surgical Systems, including the new da Vinci S model is now open at Mother Frances Hospital. According to officials with Trinity Mother Frances Health System, the Intuitive Surgical (NASDQ: ISRG) Training Center is now part of the Center For Advanced Surgery and Technology (CASAT) at the Hospital.

Mother Frances Hospital is the exclusive facility in the area with advanced robotic technology that uses the intuitive movements of the surgeon to make possible minimally-invasive cardiac, prostate, gynecological and other types of surgical procedures. The da Vinci Surgical System is manufactured by Intuitive Surgical of Sunnyvale, CA.

“The advanced technology we have here is unmatched not only in the east Texas area and the State of Texas, but in the world,“ said Ray Thompson, FACHE, executive vice president and chief operating officer, Trinity Mother Frances Health System. “When the Center For Advanced Surgery And Technology opened, our goal was to make Trinity Mother Frances Health System a destination for world class health care. We have accomplished that and are now moving forward to help other physicians from other parts of the globe learn the techniques that we now utilize to help patients elsewhere with our new Training Center.”

The da Vinci System is a laparoscopic surgical robot that integrates the trained skills of the surgeon with the advanced precision of the robot. da Vinci cannot make decisions or movements on its own, but instead digitizes the surgeon’s movements. With da Vinci, surgical movements are more precise, giving the surgeon more range of motion. The robotic system also provides enhanced 3-D visualization of the operating field and improves the dexterity beyond what is available with other minimally-invasive technology.

For example, when the surgeon manipulates the controls clockwise, the robot’s instruments twist clockwise, giving the surgeon natural hand-eye coordination. Current minimally-invasive surgeries are counter-intuitive, similar to performing surgery while looking in a mirror. da Vinci is more precise than the human hand alone, which translates into less pain, fewer complications and faster recoveries for patients.

“Intuitive has partnered with Trinity Mother Frances Health System because of their commitment to advanced technology for their patients,” said Chris Sells, Vice President of Western Area Sales, Intuitive Surgical. “They are at the cutting-edge of surgical advancements and are one of the premier facilities in the world. We are very excited about this partnership and look forward to working with other medical facilities to bring their surgeons to Tyler, Texas for training.”

CASAT includes technologies in robotic surgery, cardiac catheterization and digital 3-D imaging. CASAT has partnered with Intuitive Surgical, Stereotaxis Cardiac Catheterization and is affiliated with Siemens Corporation.

For more information on da Vinci and other services available through Trinity Mother Frances Health System, visit www.casattexas.org or call TeleCare Plus at 903-531-5678, or outside Tyler at 800-535-9799.

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