Historically, surgical procedures are performed in an “open” scenario. An open surgery often requires larger incisions in the area where organs or tissues are observed, repaired, or removed. This cutting through the superficial tissues, muscle, and fascia causes enough disruption to pose a risk of blood loss and to elongate the recovery period. Today, many procedures take place laparoscopically, rather than through large incisions.
Laparoscopic vs Open Surgery
Laparoscopic surgery has become increasingly common since its inception in the 1980s. This surgical technique is considered minimally invasive due to incisions being about the size of a dime. Once the surgeon inserts an instrument called a laparoscope through the “port”, they are able to capture video of internal structures. Then, images appear on a monitor, allowing the surgical team to view them in real time. Guided by video, the surgeon is able to perform the necessary procedure.
What Is Robotic Assisted Surgery?
Robotic surgery is an innovative technique that has been available for more than a decade. It is an extension of the laparoscopic method of surgical observation and repair or removal that involves the operation of surgical instruments through robotic arms. Since our surgeons have extensive training in the robotic technique, they are in full control of the robotic arms and utilize them to perform the necessary procedure.
Robotic Surgery Benefits
The robotic surgery technique has been successful in improving surgical precision. Additional benefits of robotic surgery include:
- Minimal blood loss compared to open surgery.
- Lower risk of surgical complications.
- Faster return to normal activities.
- Shorter hospital stays if any.
- Minimal scarring due to small incisions.
- Greater comfort without narcotics for pain management.
The high-tech nature of robotic surgery improves patient outcomes by increasing precision and magnification, and by decreasing surgeon fatigue and tremors during surgical procedures. This is especially significant for complex cases.
Robotic Surgery Procedures
Robotic surgical techniques are popular across all areas of medicine. In gynecology, robotic surgery can assist with:
- Ovary removal
- Removal of growths or tumors
- Endometriosis treatment
- Treatment of vaginal or uterine prolapse
- Cervical dysplasia or cervical cancer treatment
- Fibroid removal (myomectomy)
- Certain fertility procedures
How Does Robotic Surgery Work?
Only properly trained surgeons perform robotic surgical procedures. The operating system is positioned a short distance away from the patient. The surgeon then sits at the console and views the surgical site through the observation system. During the procedure, the area of interest may be magnified up to 10 times and is viewed in 3D. The robotic arms hold microsurgical instruments allowing them to move with unparalleled precision. Robotic “hands” that hold surgical instruments achieve the same natural movements a surgeon’s hands would make, only without the potential for shaking or unsteadiness.
What Do the Robotic Hands Feel During Surgery?
During open surgical procedures, the surgeon can feel, as well as see, the operative field. Feedback in the way of tactile sensation does not cease when using robotic equipment. The devices that have been developed for modern surgery respond to what is called force feedback, sensations that are similar to what a surgeon feels during traditional surgery. Also, the increased magnification and 3D observation of the surgical field combine to increase immediate responsiveness.
Does Robotic Surgery Make the Surgeon Unnecessary?
Robotic surgery and the skilled surgeon are the perfect pairings. The objective of robotic surgery is to replicate the movements a surgeon would make, immediately and under the direct control of that surgeon. There is no programming to robotic surgery. The surgeon remains in control of all decisions and performance of the procedure.