Information about Robotics Surgical Procedures


Da Vinci robotic surgery.

Robotic surgery (or more accurately robotic assisted laparoscopic surgery) is a recent innovation within the specialty of general surgery.  But robotic surgery has long been used in urology and ob-gyn specialties with great success and improved surgical outcomes.  Recently there has been increased attention to robotic procedures within general surgery, as the specialty seeks to see the same successes and improved outcomes. 

The “robot” is a precise machine that holds and controls laparoscopic instruments during a surgical procedure.  At every point in time, the surgeon controls the very precise movements while sitting at a control console.  The first advantage of robotic surgery is the different types of laparoscopic instruments used.  The instruments have joints or “wrists” that allow more degrees of movement than the human wrists.   A second advantage is the 10 times magnification and 3D vision seen over the operative field.  As a comparison, in traditional laparoscopic surgery, the viewing monitor is located 10 – 20 feet away, much like watching television. 

When you can see better, you can operate better.  Do you know who is standing in the Lincoln Memorial?  The da Vinci robot does! (see the images to the left)

In its simplest understanding, robotic surgery is advanced laparoscopic surgery; in reality it is much more.  On the horizon, are advances that are truly amazing.  For example, single incision (or “single site”) gallbladder surgery has just been introduced.  The entire operation is performed using one single incision at the belly button. 

Robotic surgery is fast becoming a subspecialty within the specialty of general surgery.  Currently performed robotic procedures include hiatal hernia repair, reflux surgery, gallbladder surgery, lysis of adhesions, and colon surgery, among others.  Find out if your surgery can be performed robotically.    

 
 
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