Robotic Surgery 101

January 30, 2019

What is Robotic Surgery?

Robotic surgery, also known as robot-assisted surgery, allows surgeons to perform many types of complex procedures with more precision, flexibility, and control than has been possible with conventional surgical techniques. Robotic surgery is usually associated with minimally invasive surgery – procedures performed through tiny incisions.

The most widely used clinical robotic surgical system includes a camera arm and mechanical arms with surgical instruments attached to them. The surgeon controls the arms while seated at a computer console near the operating table. The console gives the surgeon a high-definition, magnified, 3D view of the surgical site. The surgeon leads other team members who assist during the operation.

What are the benefits of robotic surgery?

Surgeons who use the robotic systems find that for many procedures it enhances precision, flexibility, and control during the operation. It also allows them to better see the site, compared with traditional techniques. Using robotic surgery, surgeons can perform delicate and complex procedures that may have been difficult or impossible with other methods.

The benefits of minimally invasive surgery include:

  • Fewer complications, such as surgical site infection
  • Less pain and blood loss
  • Quicker recovery
  • Smaller, less noticeable scars

Does robotic surgery differ from laparoscopic surgery?

In a standard open surgery, a surgeon uses a large incision to perform the operation. In laparoscopic surgery, the surgeon makes several small incisions into which he or she inserts small surgical tools and a camera. The camera allows the surgeon to see inside your body to perform the surgery.

All minimally invasive surgery techniques have similar benefits, such as less blood loss, reduced pain, smaller scars, shorter stay in the hospital, and faster recovery times. However, there are some limitations to laparoscopic surgery such as 2D images and tools that offer a limited range of motion, which can make it difficult for a surgeon to work in small spaces.

Robotic surgery is similar to laparoscopic surgery because they both use small incisions, a camera, and surgical instruments. However, instead of holding and manipulating the surgical instruments, during robotic surgery, your surgeon will sit at a computer console. They will use controls to manage the robot. The console provides your surgeon with high-definition, magnified 3D images that allow for increased accuracy and vision. Compared to traditional surgery, robotic surgery provides surgeons with a greater range of motion and precision. This can lead to less blood loss and postoperative pain.

What types of surgeries do robots assist?

Robotic gynecologic surgery can be an alternative to open surgery or standard laparoscopic procedures. Open gynecologic surgery has been the standard approach to gynecologic procedures for years.

The potential advantages of robot-assisted laparoscopic hysterectomy or other gynecologic procedures over conventional open surgery include smaller incisions that may result in less postoperative pain, reduced blood loss, and less need for blood transfusions. Plus, a potentially quicker recovery for the patient.

Studies indicate that one of the most effective treatments for prostate cancer is a prostatectomy, the removal of the prostate and surrounding cancerous tissues. Surgeons generally use one of three approaches: open surgery, laparoscopic, or robotic-assisted surgery.

The potential advantages of robotic-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy over open surgery include smaller incisions that may result in less postoperative pain, reduced blood loss, and less need for blood transfusions. Also, a potentially faster recovery and return to normal activities.

How Hudson Regional Hospital is Using Robotic Surgery

With increased investments in robotic technology, Hudson Regional Hospital is proud to offer same day and minimally invasive surgeries through the Institute for Robotic Surgery. Over the past twelve months, we have invested in Mazor Robotics, the da Vinci Xi Robotic Surgery System and the ExcelsiusGPS Robotic Guidance and Navigation System. All these technologies, have been proven to have added surgical accuracy, preferred patient outcomes, and increased patient safety.

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