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.
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:
- Head and Neck Surgery (ENT)
- Obesity/Bariatric Surgery
Read more about the conditions treated using minimally invasive and robot-assisted surgery.
Dr. Christopher Kane, chief of the division of urology, talks to KUSI News about robot-assisted surgery to treat prostate cancer.
UCSD School of Medicine Links