Robotic Surgery (da Vinci)

da Vinci robotic surgery at a glance

  • Robotic surgery uses a robotic medical device controlled by a surgeon enabling him or her to perform complex movements in a minimally invasive manner.
  • The device allows the surgeon to perform precise actions in hard to reach locations inside the body.
  • Robotic surgery may be used to treat prostate cancer, urinary blockage and removal of the kidneys or the bladder.
  • Patients who undergo robotic surgery experience less scarring, reduced infection risk, faster recovery and fewer complications.
  • Risks and considerations of robotic surgery include short-term nerve damage, prolonged time under anesthesia, as well as general surgical risks such as bleeding and infection.

What is robotic surgery?

Robotic surgery, a type of minimally invasive surgery (MIS), uses a human-controlled robotic device to achieve complex surgical procedures. Robotic surgery may be a better course of treatment for patients compared with traditional (open) surgery or MIS laparoscopy procedures.

Robotic surgery has many benefits over traditional surgery. These include:

  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Fewer post-operation complications
  • Reduced pain
  • Less risk of infection, blood loss and scarring
  • Shorter recovery time.

In cases of prostate cancer, robotic surgery reduces the chances of side effects commonly associated with traditional open surgery, such as reduced sexual function and performance.

Many urologic procedures can now be done robotically, including the following:

Pacific Urology uses the da Vinci robotic surgical system, considered to be the most advanced robotic system and also the most commonly used.

Robotic Surgery

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How does da Vinci robotic surgery work?

The patient lies on an operating table with the robotic patient side cart positioned over them. This is located several feet away from the surgeon, who controls the da Vinci robotic device from a console where he or she can view the surgery area on a monitor receiving high-definition 3D images from a small video camera inside the patient. The surgeon operates the robotic arm from the console. The robotic arm holds instruments positioned at the surgical site.

The robotic arm of the device translates a surgeon’s hand movements and directions into even more precise action and contact with the patient’s surgical site. The robotic arm of the da Vinci Surgical System performs a larger range of motions with more precise actions than a surgeon’s hands could ever execute.

da Vinci robotic surgery risks and considerations

Surgery of any kind may result in such complications as infections, blood loss, pain and undesired anesthesia reactions. da Vinci and other robotic surgery methods come with some particular risks and considerations, including longer operating times, resulting in a higher than normal amount of anesthesia administered, as well as short-term nerve damage. In rare cases, a portion of the robotic arm may be accidentally dropped into a patient’s body during the surgery.

Robotic surgery may not suit every patient and every case. Questions or concerns regarding the treatment should be discussed by the physician and patient before the surgery.