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The physician is not actually bedside during robotic surgeries, says Scott Benninghoven, MD, in robotic surgery with the Regional Medical Center of San Jose. Learn more in this video.
During robotic procedures, the surgeon begins at the operating table to position the camera and robotic appendages appropriately. Once these devices are ready, the surgeon sits at a console, located inside the operating room, from which the robot is controlled. There is usually a surgical assistant at the bedside who makes adjustments to the camera or surgical tools as required by the surgeon.
When performing robotic surgery, the doctor works at a special console, after placing all the instruments in the patient on the operating table. In this video, Rodolfo Saenz, MD, an OB/GYN at Riverside Community Hospital, describes the process.
During robotic surgery, the doctor may not be standing at the operating table. As with other types of minimally invasive surgery, in robotic surgery, doctors make only a few small incisions rather than one large incision. In one of the incisions, the surgeon inserts a long, thin tube with an attached light and tiny camera.
The camera projects a magnified image of the inside of the body onto a screen, often making an area easier to view than with traditional open surgery. The doctor then stands at a platform, using a computer to direct precise and accurate movements of instruments attached to a robot.
Because robotic surgery does not require a doctor to stand at an operating table for hours at a time, it can be less fatiguing for the surgeon.
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