Today, laparoscopic surgery may be performed with robotic assistance. Usually performed with the da Vinci® Surgical System, the doctor is able to operate with real-time images and EndoWrist® instruments, tools which can mimic the surgeon's dexterity with great precision and which have an even greater range of motion than the human wrist.
For many years, surgery of the heart and other difficult-to-reach areas was performed using invasive procedures with large incisions and a high risk of complications. While effective and often lifesaving, these procedures required a long recovery time. As new technologies developed, simpler and less invasive procedures did as well. Laparoscopic procedures allow surgeons to access difficult areas with smaller incisions into which a small camera and tiny surgical instruments may be inserted.
Types of Robotic-Assisted Surgery
Robotic-assisted surgery is advantageous in nearly every surgical discipline, including:
Advantages of Robotic-Assisted Surgery
Robotic-assisted surgery offers advantages to both doctors and patients.
Advantages to Patients
With robotic-assisted surgery, the patient is afforded effective treatment with significantly less trauma. With this procedure the patient experiences:
- Smaller incisions
- Less pain
- Less bleeding
- Less scarring
- Shorter recovery time
- Lower risk of infection
Advantages to Doctors
There are also many advantages to the surgeon performing robotic-assisted surgery.
Not only is the surgeon afforded a three-dimensional, magnified image of the operating field, but that image can be manipulated to visualize the procedure from various perspectives. This enhanced view of the surgical site makes for a more precise operation.
Range of Motion
Robotic-assisted surgery also offers the surgeon an increased range of motion and the ability to make more precise movements than would otherwise be possible. As an added benefit, robotic surgery enables the surgeon to remain seated while performing procedures, allowing for greater comfort and a decreased risk of fatigue.
In spite of the many advantages of robotic-assisted surgery, it is not always feasible under all conditions or for all patients. Ultimately, the surgeon performing the operation will make the decision as to whether it is appropriate in an individual case.