Cullman Regional recently unveiled and demonstrated the new advanced robotic surgical technology now available at the facility. The da Vinci Xi robotic surgical system was acquired in August in order to provide the community with the most advanced minimally invasive surgical treatment available. This investment will benefit the community by providing minimally invasive treatment options that can drastically improve the quality of life for patients with significantly reduced recovery time.

Urologist Lars Erik Wallin, III, MD, Robotic Surgery Medical Director, gave a presentation to community members explaining the benefits of robotic surgery for patients, surgeons and the community.

“Robotic surgery provides many benefits for patients,” said Wallin. “We are able to make incisions 1/3 of an inch in size and patients often see significantly reduced post-operative pain, little to no blood loss, improved recovery time and less scar tissue.”

Surgeons also benefit from performing surgery robotically rather than through laparoscopy or an open surgery. The visualization of the da Vinci robot provides a 3D camera the surgeon can control with zoom capability and fluorescent imaging. Surgeons also have greater control of their hand movements when using the robot.

“The robot’s tremor stabilization gives the surgeon fine motor control and the controls allow for a greater range of motion. The robot also has four arms so it gives the surgeon an ‘extra hand’ to work with,” said Wallin.

Performing an open surgery often requires hours of standing and bending over an operating table. While performing robotic surgery, the surgeon is able to sit at a console which in turn provides better ergonomics for the surgeon and allows them to avoid fatigue during long or complex surgeries.

The community benefits from robotic surgery by increasing access to minimally invasive surgery, which provides faster recovery time. Robotic surgery has a shorter learning curve for new surgeons and it allows the healthcare system to access more complex cases, allowing patients to access care locally rather than having to travel out of town.

“The majority of surgeons who are coming out of their training now have learned how to perform procedures robotically,” said Wallin. “Having the da Vinci surgical system will be a great benefit to the hospital in hopes of recruiting more physicians to our community.”

The da Vinci robotic surgical system will provide minimally invasive surgical options for patients who have prostate, kidney, bladder or colon cancer, as well as those in need of hernia repair, bariatric surgery or gynecological procedures.

Community members also had the chance to test their skills on the robot and watch demonstrations given by Dr. Wallin. One attendee, Joey Shadowens, might have found his new career path during the event.

Joey Shadowens tests his skills on the robot.


“He loves robots and begged me to take him out of school so he could learn more about this,” said Shadowen’s mom, Stefani Nelson. “We appreciate Cullman Regional for providing not only this new technology but also for the opportunity to see and learn more about robotic-assisted surgery.”

“Cullman Regional is proud to expand surgery to include robotic surgery for our community,” said James Clements, Cullman Regional CEO. “We are committed to investing in progressive technologies which provide better quality and outcomes to the patients we serve.”

For more information about robotic surgery or services provided by Cullman Regional, visit