In 2000, the da Vinci surgical robot was approved for laparoscopic surgery. Today, because of its advantages, the da Vinci is being used for a growing number of minimally invasive surgical procedures. It is important for patients to understand that the da Vinci is not an automated machine, rather it is controlled by an experienced surgeon.
The da Vinci allows surgeons to use smaller tools which make more precise incisions. Typically, there are two surgeons involved in robotic surgery, one controlling the robot and the other standing directly over the patient. The surgeon that controls the robot sits at a console and maneuvers the robot’s arms with computer controls.
Surgeon fatigue is reduced as the surgeon is seated for the duration of the procedure. Also, the robot improves the doctor’s field of vision as the robot’s cameras have 10x HD magnification and 3D vision. Additionally, the robot’s hands can maneuver and reach into tighter spots that human hands as such cannot.
In traditional surgeries, incisions range from 15-20 inches resulting in a great deal of pain, blood loss and increased chance of infection. With traditional surgeries, recovery time typically ranges from 5-7 days. Conversely, robotic surgery technology allows the doctor to make tiny incisions which results in quicker recovery time, limited blood loss, and because of the reduced pain, less need for narcotic medications. Because robotic surgery does not require open surgery, there is less scarring and a reduced risk of surgical and post-op complications.
Robotic Surgery Procedures
- Hip Replacement
- Coronary Artery Bypass
- Removing cancerous tissues from delicate parts of the body and important organs
- Kidney Removal and Transplant
- Removal of one or both ovaries, cysts, or part of the prostate gland
Robotic surgery success depends upon the experience and training of the doctor. Studies have shown that surgeons with considerable experience have better results as do institutions where robotic surgeries are routinely performed. Many hospitals have strict training protocols that protect robotic surgery patients. In addition, surgeons are required to maintain their surgical skills and consistently reach benchmarks to retain their surgical privileges.