The miracle of life, brought to you by a robot.
An Irish couple who lost their unborn son last year recently welcomed a daughter into the world with help from the da Vinci Surgical System robot.
Anne and Patrick O'Mahony became the parents of 6-pound baby Lucy at Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH) last week.
The robot was used to perform a minimally invasive cervical stitch to treat the mother's weak cervix.
The condition can cause the cervix to not close fully during pregnancy, increasing the likelihood of miscarriage. She lost her son at five months.
Conventional cervical stitches may require weeks or months for recovery. Using the da Vinci robot for the procedure can help get the patient back to her normal routine within a week.
Anne had the robot-assisted procedure, and apparently was one of the first women in Europe to do so. Then she became pregnant, and carried the child to term.
"With the robot there is a very small incision and we can operate with great precision," Dr. Barry O'Reilly of CUMH was quoted as saying by the Independent. "It's amazing technology."
Surgeons who use the da Vinci system, made by Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Intuitive Surgical, remotely control robot arms while monitoring progress on screens. The system is widely used to treat localized prostate cancer, but it can also be used for gynecologic procedures such as hysterectomies.
"I'm just delighted really. Words can't describe how I'm feeling at the moment," father Patrick was quoted as saying. "I was a bit nervous and apprehensive but now I'm just delighted we have this little angel with us."