The Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation is trying to raise $3 million to buy a state-of-the-art surgical robot to assist doctors at the Lois Hole Hospital for Women.

The robot, nicknamed da Vinci, is capable of performing major surgeries less invasively compared to traditional methods.

Although the robotic arms are controlled by a surgeon, the robot’s tiny surgical instruments offer more control and dexterity than a human hand.

"Robotic surgery is the latest and most exciting advance in minimally invasive surgery," said Dr. Chris Hoskins, site chief at the Lois Hole Hospital for Women.

"Operations that are more complex and difficult, requiring more precision, can be accomplished with the robot."

Patients who undergo surgery with the da Vinci robot have recover faster and have fewer scars.

Kara Mackie was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2011. She says she’s now cancer-free after her surgeon in Edmonton operated on her using a da Vinci robot.

The procedure left her with only five small scars on her abdomen.

"I was in the hospital for one night, and I was back to class and work within a week," she said.

Currently, doctors at the Lois Hole Hospital have weekly access to a da Vinci robot owned by the Royal Alexandra Hospital. They’re hoping to raise enough money to purchase their own device by next year.

The machine will be used primarily to operate on cancers of the cervix, endometrium and uterus.

The Lois Hole Hospital for Women performs many gynecological cancer surgeries for women in central and northern Alberta.