St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea opens new operating room, performs first robotic surgery on patient

CHELSEA, Mich. – Physicians at St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea completed the hospital’s first robotic surgery last week.  The procedure was performed inside a newly constructed operating room, the seventh for the hospital as it continues to grow and expand its surgical offerings for residents of Chelsea and surrounding communities.  An eighth operating room is expected to open in the spring of 2020.

“Today our hospital elevated standards of care by providing doctors and patients access to a very advanced robotic surgical system,” said Nancy Graebner, president and CEO of St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea.  “With the introduction of the new robotic platform, we can now offer patients both complex and routine procedures through the most effective, least invasive surgical treatments available.”

The da Vinci® Surgical System provides St. Joe’s surgeons with an alternative to both traditional open surgery and conventional laparoscopy, putting a surgeon’s hands at the controls of a state-of-the-art robotic platform and enabling them to complete minimally-invasive advanced general surgery, hernia surgery, bariatric surgery, gynecological, colon and urological procedures. 

Members of St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea’s surgical team lead a demonstration of the hospital’s newly acquired da Vinci® Surgical System.

Minimally invasive robotic surgery is performed through very small incisions.  For patients, benefits may include:

·         Significantly less pain

·         Less blood loss

·         Less scarring

·         Shorter recovery time

·         A faster return to normal daily activities

·         And in many cases, better clinical outcomes

Members of the community are invited to interact with a demonstration robot at an open house event scheduled inside the lobby of St. Joe’s Chelsea on October 9 and 10.  Members of the hospital’s surgical team, including physicians, will be on hand to demonstrate how to use the robot and explain the different types of surgeries it can perform.  Community members will have an opportunity to use the robot and experience the precision necessary for surgery.

Open house dates and times:

·         October 9: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. or 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.

·         October 10: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. or 4 to 6 p.m.

For more information regarding the open house, please call 734-593-5377 or visit

MAIN PHOTO: Members of St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea’s surgical team are photographed in front of the da Vinci® robot, an advanced surgical system now available to St. Joe’s doctors and patients.  Photographed from left to right are Kelly Giovannini, PA, Michigan Medicine; Alon Weizer, MD, Michigan Medicine, Co-Chair, St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea Robotic Surgery Committee; Lisa Howlin, RN; Alisha Brown, CST; and Heather Miller, RN.