Questions & Answers
Robotic Surgery is an advanced surgical technique that offers a wide variety of potential benefits for patients. Though this technique was approved by the FDA more than a decade ago, oftentimes our patients are unfamiliar with the procedure and have a multitude of questions. We hope the following information will be both informative and educational.
How does robotic surgery work?
During a robotic surgical procedure, the surgeon sits in the system console a few feet away from the patient. The surgeon looks through the vision system—like a pair of binoculars—inside the patient’s body. The system provides a three-dimensional, high-definition view of the surgical site with magnification many times that of the naked eye.
The surgeon moves the handles on the console to control the robot’s arms holding the micro-surgical instruments. These handles make precise movements easier, reduce surgeon fatigue and remove the risk of unsteadiness or shaking. The computerized robotic "hands" mirror the natural motions of a surgeon. After the initial incision, only the robotic hands touch the patient.
What are the advantages?
Robotics makes it possible for surgeons to perform complex procedures through small, key-hole sized incisions with unmatched precision.
Robotics provides surgeons with:
- Four arms
- Three-dimensional vision
- Enhanced dexterity
- The ability to perform minimally invasive procedures rather than traditional open surgeries
The robotic hands can do surgical tasks beyond the capabilities of human hands or the laparoscope. Guided by a computer, the instruments exceed the natural range of motion of the human hand. Robotic surgery places a computer between the surgeon's hands and electromechanically-enhanced, micro instruments.
What does minimally invasive mean?
Minimally invasive surgeries are done through small incisions rather than large incisions that may cut across large areas of tissue. Often, special instruments and visualization are needed.
What are the benefits of minimally invasive procedures?
When procedures are performed through small incisions, there is generally less bleeding, pain and risk of infection, as well as faster recovery times and shorter hospital stays. Patients return more quickly to normal living. Some studies show improved clinical results for robotic surgery. For example, da Vinci prostatectomy has been shown to reduce post-operative pain while hastening recovery. Studies also indicate that this procedure may offer improved cancer control along with a lower incidence of impotence and urinary incontinence.
What procedures can be done with the robotics system?
At Delray Medical Center, general, gynecological and colorectal procedures are performed with robotics.
Who performs robotics procedures?
Delray Medical Center surgical teams have undergone extensive training to use the robotic surgical systems. To be selected for training on the systems, surgeons must display specific qualifications and skills. After they have completed training, they are credentialed and certified.
How long has robotic surgery been performed?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first da Vinci S Surgical System in 2000, making it the first robotic system inside American operating rooms. There are extensive clinical studies of the effectiveness and patient benefits of this robotic surgical system.
To find a Robotic Surgeon, call 1-800-897-9789.