What is robotic surgery?

In this video Leonardo Espinel, MD from StoneSprings Hospital Center, says that robotic surgery involves minimally invasive, computerized procedures that may be quicker and safer.
In robotic surgery, laparoscopic instruments are connected to a machine over the patient, while the surgeon sits at a console nearby to control the instruments. The surgeon is always in the room next to the patient.

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Robotic technology is the newest addition to the minimally invasive approach of surgery. Using robotics, surgeons can see very clearly a three-dimensional view with full detail, and the robotic arms allow for full 360-degree wrist movement of instruments inside the body. Robotics help achieve more precise surgeries through smaller incisions, which leads to quicker recovery from the surgery and faster return to full activities.

Robotics is being used for urologic, gynecologic and many of the most common general surgeries. Doctors are now able to do gall bladder surgery through a single incision of the belly button. The reason the belly button is used is that provides a good place to hide the scar.
Robotic surgery is a type of minimally invasive surgery. This means that the surgery is done through tiny incisions using small surgical tools and telescopes. In robotic surgery, a trained surgeon uses small tools attached to a robotic arm allowing for more precise movements.

The delicate movements of the robot arms help the surgeon get into small areas of the body, which is especially useful for surgery in children. The surgeon uses his or her hands to direct the surgery instruments on the robot arms. This allows for extra precision and control, important for achieving the best possible outcomes.

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Robotic surgery allows finer movements than other types of surgery. In this video, Rick Kline, MD, Trauma Medical Director at Regional Medical Center of San Jose, explains the benefits of robotic surgery.
Kevin R. Rayls, MD
Facial Plastic Surgery
Robotic surgery is a minimally invasive surgery with even more benefits than laparoscopic surgery, says Kevin Rayls, MD, a general surgeon at Southern Hills Hospital. In this video, he describes robotic surgery benefits such as 3D field of vision.
Robotic surgery is a form of minimally invasive surgery in which doctors use a computer to direct precise and accurate movements of instruments attached to a robot.
As with other types of minimally invasive surgery, doctors make small incisions into the skin instead of creating one large opening, as is done with traditional surgery. These smaller incisions usually mean that the surgery is less painful and requires a shorter recovery time. 

Robotic surgery is a minimally invasive technique similar to a laparoscopy -- a tiny camera is placed through a needle-sized hole in a person’s body to obtain clear pictures, and probes are used to carry out the operation. The difference is that instead of directly grasping the probes, the doctor sits at a console with a three-dimensional view inside the person and manipulates robotic arms that hold the probes. The robotic arms act like human wrists, giving the doctor greater flexibility as he or she manipulates the tiny surgical tools inside the body. A system filters hand tremor and amplifies the video image in 3-D to facilitate more precise movements.

The robot is particularly useful for operations that require the doctor to work in a small space within the body or when he or she must perform suturing that requires fine motor control.

Robotic-assisted surgery is a minimally invasive surgical technique. Small keyhole incisions allow the instruments to access the desired surgical field. Once the instruments are positioned, the surgeon is able to control the instruments from a console within the operating room.  Unlike traditional laparoscopic surgery, the use of the robot allows for full range of motion of the surgical tools, additionally the robot removes any involuntary movements, such as a tremor, to make for smoother movements. The camera used in robotic-assisted surgery is also superior to a traditional laparoscopic camera, as it generates a highly magnified 3-demension image allowing for clearer visualization of the surgical field.
To learn more about robotic-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy visit roboticoncology.com
Kevin W. Windom, MD
OBGYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology)
Robotic surgery is laparoscopic surgery that utilizes the da Vinci robot system to assist in performing technically challenging procedures. The doctor sits at a "console" and controls the robotic arms that are attached to the laparoscopic instruments. This allows the surgeon to perform more intricate dissection, and delicate suturing safely. I use the da Vinci robot for difficult hysterectomies, endometriosis, and some surgeries to help with severe pelvic organ prolapse. I do not believe robotic surgery is necessary for all types of gynecologic surgery and most gynecologists should be capable to perform many surgeries laparoscopically without the assist of a robot. In my opinion, the robot does help with very technically challenging surgeries and I believe robotic surgery is useful in giving patients an option to have safe minimally invasive surgery rather than a large incision and long recovery.
Robotic surgery is a minimally invasive technique (i.e. uses tiny incisions) that was originally developed as a way to operate on wounded soldiers who couldn't get to an expert surgeon. With robotics, the surgeon can operate remotely, sitting at a console miles away and moving levers to control the robots "arms" and maneuver instruments, which are placed into the patient by an on-site surgeon. 

While robotic surgery was originally designed to be performed from a distance, most robotic surgery is currently performed with the primary surgeon sitting at a console in the same room as the patient, and a second surgeon standing in the traditional spot next to the patient. Robotic instruments can do things traditional laparoscopic instruments cannot, like twist, turn and maneuver around corners. In addition, the technology allows the surgeon to have a magnified 3-D perspective, almost like standing inside the body while operating. The result is the ability to see and do things that can’t be done otherwise. In the event that a procedure can’t be completed robotically and an incision needs to be made, both surgeons are in the room and can proceed.
While robotic surgery is not appropriate for every procedure, it is particularly helpful for operating on parts of the body that are difficult to access without making a large incision. During robotic surgery, the surgeon uses the assistance of a robot to operate on the patient through tiny holes (or ports) in the body instead of a large open incision. Robotic technology consists of a surgeon's console that controls a tower with four working arms. One arm controls the three-dimensional camera's movements inside the body, while the remaining three arms hold specialized laparoscopic instruments. The robotic arms precisely replicate the surgeon's hand and finger movements from the console.

At the start of the robotic surgery, miniature instruments are introduced into the body by the surgeon via small tubes, eliminating the need for larger incisions. During robotic surgery, the surgeon sits at a console where he can manipulate the miniature instruments. The end of the instrument has three different hinges that allow the surgeon to rotate, spin, and move the instrument in any direction. The surgeon is able to control the instruments as nimbly as he or she would with their own fingers and wrists and in an intuitive fashion. The robot can only respond to the surgeon's movements and motions, and it is incapable of moving on its own, thereby ensuring safe outcomes.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.