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About Robotic Surgery

Advanced, computer-enhanced technologies provide new alternatives to surgical procedures. Robot-assisted surgery is a special form of minimally invasive surgery that uses the da Vinci surgical system.

Robotic Surgery

Essentially, the robot is a laparoscopic tool. As in traditional laparoscopy, robot-assisted surgery requires only a few small (0.5 to 1.5 cm) incisions through which a tiny camera and surgical instruments are inserted. Instead of manually controlling those instruments, the surgeon operates from a control console a few feet away while viewing the surgical field on a high-resolution monitor. Robotic arms equipped with endoscopes respond to the precise movements of the surgeon’s hands.

Robot-assisted surgery has significant advantages over traditional laparoscopic and open surgical techniques:

  • The robotic system provides better visibility than in laparoscopic techniques (and even some open surgeries) because of 3D, high definition imaging.
  • Hand-eye coordination is intuitive, in contrast to laparoscopic systems, where the instruments’ movement on the monitor is opposite the direction of the surgeon’s hand.
  • Robotic surgical systems have seven degrees of motion, just like a human wrist; laparoscopic instruments are mostly restricted to four degrees of motion.
  • Endoscopes fixed to the robotic arm are more stable than hand-held endoscopes.

Most importantly, robot-assisted surgery is associated with improved patient outcomes and less pain, blood loss, scarring and time to recuperate.

Robotic-assisted MIS is used for a wide range of conditions in multiple specialties including:

  • Cancer/Oncology
  • Cardiology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Gynecology 
  • Head and Neck Surgery (ENT) 
  • Neurology 
  • Obesity/Bariatric Surgery
  • Urology

Read more about the conditions treated using minimally invasive and robot-assisted surgery.

Video

Dr. Christopher Kane, chief of the division of urology, talks to KUSI News about robot-assisted surgery to treat prostate cancer.