More than 350 people packed the Grand Foyer at the Van Wezel Dec. 10 to meet Sarasota Memorial's robotic surgery team, hear about the latest advances in six medical specialties and test drive the da Vinci robot in simulation mode. But 69-year-old Kelly DeVine, from Sarasota, had a more compelling reason for attending the event that day.
"I couldn't wait to get my hands on that robot," said Kelly, who just 18 months earlier had an emergency triple bypass performed by Sarasota Memorial cardiac robotic surgeon Atiq Rehman, MD, and one of Sarasota Memorial’s da Vinci surgical robots. "It was the neatest thing to manipulate the instruments remotely and see everything in 3D and 10 times magnified," he said. "I tugged and tied those rubber bands just as easily as the surgeon did the arteries in my heart."