Brethen Center Offers Advanced Training in Robotics and Minimally Invasive Surgery

Premier Pulse     May 2018

Legendary football coach Vince Lombardi certainly wasn’t referring to surgery when he was quoted as saying, “Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect.” It could be argued, however, that this sentiment definitely applies to medicine, where excellence and precision are absolute necessities.

At Premier Health, the pursuit of excellence and precision is being practiced each day at the Brethen Center for Surgical Advancement in Robotics and Minimally Invasive Surgery. The facility is located on the ground floor of the Berry Building at Miami Valley Hospital, and is home to the da Vinci and ROSA surgical robots, as well as other training tools.

The da Vinci Surgical System offers 3-D real-time training for a variety of procedures. ROSA Brain and ROSA Spine are minimally invasive robotic surgical assistants that help increase precision and reach during delicate brain and spine surgeries.

“The Brethen Center was designed to be a national destination for robotic surgical education,” said Josh Lader, director of the Brethen Center. “This facility enables us to raise the level of expertise in the medical community by increasing the education and available surgical options for our residents. It's a valuable asset for resident training, and it can give physicians the ability to improve their skills.”

The Brethen Center gives both Premier Health physicians and residents from the Wright State University School of Medicine direct access to advanced medical tools, providing a unique opportunity to learn the latest techniques or strengthen existing skills in preparation for upcoming procedures.

As one of the first gynecologists in the Dayton area to perform a robotic-assisted hysterectomy and myomectomy using the da Vinci Robotic Surgical System, Keith Watson, MD, has a special appreciation for the Brethen Center’s impact on area physicians and the communities they serve.

“It’s good for physicians to be aware that there are a number of area surgeons who are now specially trained in robotic surgery as a result of the Brethen Center,” said Dr. Watson. “They need to know that if they have a patient, for example, who has lesion in the lung, there is a thoracic surgeon who can do a minimally invasive procedure to take care of that.”

In addition to thoracic surgery, the Brethen Center has proved to be an invaluable training resource for neurologic, gynecologic, urologic, colorectal, and general surgical specialists. Training is also available for clinical staff who assist with robotic surgery, such as robotic program coordinators, first assistants, and operating room staff.

“So much of training and education involves looking toward the distant future,” said Lader. “But in many ways, we're out in front of tomorrow when it comes to this robotic technology, since this lets you basically train and practice, and then take that knowledge directly into the operating room.”

Premier Health physicians and clinical staff interested in learning more about the Brethen Center and its training opportunities are encouraged to call (937) 208-2239, or contact Josh Lader via phone at (937) 734-8660 or email

Back to the May 2018 issue of Premier Pulse

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