The daVinci Robotic Surgical System (also known as “the robot”) is a tool for surgeons that allows for complex surgery to be performed with precision and ease through just a few small incisions. This new technology provides many benefits to patients undergoing major cancer or reconstructive surgery.
The robot uses a high magnification 3D camera inside the body to give the surgeon unparalleled high definition vision throughout the operation. The surgery is facilitated by three robotic arms inside the patient, each through a hole approximately 8mm wide. These robotic arms can hold a variety of specially designed surgical instruments. The surgeon controls the arms via a remote console, where the hand movements of the surgeon are mimicked by the robotic arms. The movements are scaled down and filtered for tremor, allowing for very precise surgical tasks to be performed.
Does the robot actually do the operation?
While the robotic arms are performing the tissue dissection and suturing, they are under the direct control of the surgeon at all times. The surgeon is still the one doing the operation, the robot does not operate on its own.
What are the benefits of robotic surgery?
There are many possible benefits over traditional open surgery:
- Small keyhole incisions
- Less pain
- Less blood loss
- Lower complication rate
- Shorter hospital stay
- Quicker recovery and return to normal activity
What is the most important factor for a good outcome?
As with any type of complex surgery, the most important factor is the skill and experience of the surgeon. While the robot is an incredible surgical tool, the operation will only be as good as the surgeon behind the controls. You should be careful to choose a surgeon with the appropriate qualifications and experience in robotic surgery for the best chance of a good outcome.