Dr. Srinivas Rajamahanty hasn’t been in Carbondale too long, but he’s grown to appreciate his home for both personal and professional reasons.

Relocating to the region in August 2011 from the Winston-Salem, N.C., area to join the medical staff at Southern Illinois Healthcare, Rajamahanty — better known as Dr. Raj in the confines of the hospital — has already made a difference in the lives of many residents.

“I wanted to work in a small community hospital,” he said. Before his previous career at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, he had lived and practiced in New York.

The adjustment has been a positive one.

“Professionally, it’s been very satisfying,” he said. “Business is picking up, and the people here are very friendly.”

On a personal level, the move to Southern Illinois has brought Rajamahanty closer to family living in Champaign, making the choice an even better one.

It’s also one that has benefited patients at the SIH-operated Memorial Hospital of Carbondale.

Rajamahanty has been trained on the da Vinci, a robotic medical tool that has changed the way surgery can be done. The device offers a number of advantages for both the doctor and his patients.

On the doctor’s side, the device allows for advanced magnification, 360-degree rotation and stability of tools not possible with natural tremors of the human hand.

For the patient, the da Vinci offers a less invasive laparoscopic surgery option, as well as less blood caused by the reduced need for large incisions and a shorter post-operative recovery time.

“The robot is more of an extension of the surgeon during the procedure,” he said. “The robot does not replace your intuition as a surgeon or your knowledge. It just helps you, and you can use it to your advantage for your patients.”

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