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Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Performs Historic First Single-Port Robotic Surgery

Image of U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. (Dr.) Brandon R. Garren, the service chief of the Department of Urology at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, poses for a photo in the operating room. The center recently implemented a single-port robotic surgical system. (Photo: Ricardo Reyes-Guevara, Department of Defense). . U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. (Dr.) Brandon R. Garren, the service chief of the Department of Urology at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, poses for a photo in the operating room. The center recently implemented a single-port robotic surgical system. (Photo: Ricardo Reyes-Guevara, Department of Defense).

Walter Reed unveiled its new single-port robotic surgical system, becoming the first Department of Defense facility, and the first military hospital in the National Capital Region, to use the newly FDA-approved medical device.

“This is one of the most transformative technological advances across disciplines right now, reshaping how we approach surgical disease,” said U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. (Dr.) Brandon R. Garren, who with his team today, performed a minimally invasive surgery on a patient with an enlarged prostate. Garren, the service chief of the Department of Urology at Walter Reed, worked with a multidisciplinary team that trained for months to perform today’s milestone surgery.

During the groundbreaking procedure, Garren utilized a console with hand and foot controls to command the robots, while a second surgeon stood by to supervise the way the surgical instruments worked. Garren controlled the robot's motions, adjusting its precision with his hand and foot gestures, while a series of robotic arms picked up and manipulated the surgical instruments.

Robotic surgery has exponentially improved outcomes for patients: minimizing scarring, improving recovery times and post-operative pain – as well as reducing hospital stays. The technology has wide-ranging applications for a variety of surgical procedures including coronary artery bypass, joint replacement, organ transplantation, gynecological operations, and cancer treatments.

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has cleared a first-of-its-kind artificial intelligence-powered smartphone application developed by the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command’s Biotechnology High Performance Computing Software Applications Institute that uses vital-sign data from trauma patients to assess their risk of hemorrhage.

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Ten soldiers assigned to the Fort Meade Medical Department Activity completed the 2024 Bataan Memorial Death March at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, Mar. 16, 2024. For seven of them, the memorial march had special meaning as an opportunity to honor the namesake of their MEDDAC clinic– the Andrew Rader U.S. Army Health Clinic.

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The Defense Department's premier scientific meeting, the MHSRS, is a joint symposium that provides a collaborative environment for military medical care providers with deployment experience, military scientists, academia, and industry to exchange information on research and health care advancements within the areas of Combat Casualty Care, Military ...

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Walter Reed Doctors Credited with Saving the Life of a Gym Patron

From left, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Director, U.S. Navy Capt. (Dr.) Melissa C. Austin, recognizes Army Lt. Col. (Dr.) John Symons and Army Maj. (Dr.) John Schacht, Walter Reed doctors credited with saving the life of a heart attack victim at a local off-base gym on Feb. 25.

It’s not uncommon to hear about Walter Reed physicians saving lives within the walls of the iconic medical center, but it proved fortunate for one local gym patron suffering from a heart attack that two doctors from “the flagship of military medicine” were also getting in a workout at the same off-base facility on Feb. 25.

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Spray Foam Cast Developed by U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command Adopted for Rehabilitation Exoskeleton

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A method for rapidly splinting injured limbs developed with the assistance of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command is being incorporated into the next generation of exoskeletons. This new method aims to help injured warfighters regain their mobility and recover more quickly from their injuries.

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Walter Reed Salutes Capt. Carlos Williams’ Leadership During Black History Month

Carlos William graduated with honors from Albany State University with a bachelor’s degree in biology and a minor in chemistry before earning his medical degree from the Morehouse School of Medicine. He later earned graduate degrees in public health and business administration from Johns Hopkins University.

When you meet U.S. Navy Capt. Carlos Williams, director of the National Intrepid Center of Excellence at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, you’ll likely notice that he embodies the Navy’s core values of initiative, accountability, integrity and toughness.

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Last Updated: August 23, 2023
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