Girl, 5, is first Hoosier child to have robotic surgical procedure

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The care of Indiana children is changing forever, and for the first time, robotic surgery was performed on a young Indiana girl.  The procedure has been done before on adults, but this was a first of its kind.

Whether it was on the phone, or giving a tour of her hospital room, it was hard to believe Mercedes Magana had invasive surgery two days before being able to go home.

“So now hopefully things will go back to normal after she heals,” said Mercedes’ mother Amanda Magana.  “In the long run, it is much better for her.”

Her parents noticed something was not right back in April.  Doctors said Mercedes had a kidney reflux, and if it was not taken care of, there could be long-term problems.

“It could cause kidney failure and hypertension and high blood pressure,” said Dr. Benjamin Whittam of Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health.

Surgery was a must, but which type?  Until early January, a Caesarean section (C-section) was the only option.

“She had heard the doctors say they might have to do a C-section, so she was afraid they were going to cut her up,” said Amanda Magana.

Now, it is a first of its kind.  Doctors used a robotic surgical system called de Vinci to fix Mercedes’ kidney reflux.

“Oh now we have got this new procedure, so it made you think, ‘Oh that is a relief that there is a new way to do it,'” said Amanda Magana.

The de Vinci helps with healing, not only on the inside of the body, but on the outside too.  Without that system, Mercedes would have had to have a C-section.  The incision would have been 5 to 6 centimeters long, instead she had three tinier incisions, each smaller than the size of a dime.

The marks on Mercedes stomach will heal, and doctors at Riley Hospital for Children said the surgery is a big breakthrough in their treatment of children.

“It reduces their overall time in the hospital and time away from family so it is very, very, very incredible,” said Dr. Whittam.

The Magana family is heading home, where 5-year-old Mercedes is back on her feet.

Learn more about IU Health’s de Vinci procedure here.


  • Madrad

    C-section??? You are a little confused about surgical techniques. A Caesarean section is delivering a baby through a surgical incision.

  • Randy

    Attaboy, Joe! From reporting that 3 cities were digging out of 30" of snow a week or so ago, to a 5 year old girl having a C-section. You're a riot! Don't have a clue, but a riot nonetheless. Are you headlining at a local comedy club anytime soon?

    Just like we all can't be NFL players, Joe, we all can't be reporters, either. Maybe you should find a different line of work.

    • Samuel Magana

      That is my daughter Randy she didn't have a fucking c-section! That is my MERCEDES this is the greast fucking story!OK,you are not a verysmart person cause you watch what you comment on cause you never know!

  • MeatPlow

    freaking awesome, I want robitic vision like the Terminator and robitic arms. screw it, just turn me into a cyborg.

  • jack

    It was really impressive published article. I do personally learn in the post and also I will share it to my friends later after reviewing. Really interesting post indeed. Thanks.

  • Stalina Dsouza

    Over the next few years, robots will continue to gain popularity as an extension for surgeons, and this will likely have the effect of reducing morbidity and mortality during and after surgery. It isn't improbable that simple procedures will be streamlined and conducted by autonomous robotic surgeons in a decade or so, thus reducing the need for human input and eroding demand for human medical personnel in general. Robots of this form represent a viable solution for large medical centres, and due to the fact that they're far less expensive to maintain than people, total operating costs will decline.

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