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What is Robot Assisted Surgery?

Robotic surgery, or robot-assisted surgery, is an advanced type of minimally invasive surgery that involves surgeons operating through tiny incisions. Robotic systems allow doctors to perform many types of complex procedures with more precision, flexibility and control than is possible with conventional techniques. The technology enables surgeons to perform minimally invasive surgery for certain procedures that previously were only possible by a traditional open surgery approach.

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Q&A

Some patients are concerned about the idea of a robot performing surgery. It is important to understand that the Robotic system is only assisting the surgeon and that surgeon is in complete control. While seated at a surgeon console within the operating room  at the patients bedside the surgeon manipulates hand controls to precisely move instruments attached to the robot. The robot is never making decisions or performing incisions. Rather, your surgeon is using a technology to safely perform minimally invasive surgery with improved vision and control.

Similar to laparoscopic surgery an endoscope is inserted through a small incision into you body. The video camera sends real-time images to your surgeon, seated at the console. The images your surgeon sees using the Robotic System are 3D, magnified and high definition providing them a better view compared to traditional approaches.

Million of patients have been successfully treated with robot-assisted surgery across the globe. Robot-assisted surgery systems have evolved over the past two decades and have been safely used at multiple health care centres across the country. Surgeons who use the technology are trained extensively through educational, and simulation programs.

Many studies have been conducted on the safety of robot-assisted surgery. In these studies, there has been an evaluation of both clinical outcomes, and adverse events related to surgery. Studies that have compared robot-assisted surgery with other surgical methods have often shown that outcomes for robotic procedures are equivalent or better than other methods in terms of safety, and other patient outcomes.

It is important to understand that there are risks associated with any type of surgery, including robot-assisted surgery. It is recommended that you speak with your clinical provider to ensure you understand the risks.

There are many benefits to having a robot-assisted surgery. Minimally invasive robot-assisted surgery has been shown to benefits patients directly — shorter recovery time — as well as indirectly — the surgeon has better visualization and control, leading to a more precise surgery. Patient benefits reported may include:

  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Less blood loss and fewer blood transfusions
  • Less pain due to smaller incision
  • Less opioid use
  • Less risk of infection
  • Faster recovery and Quicker return to daily routine

Benefits have also been shown for surgeons which can have a positive impact on the patient. The robotic instruments enable surgeons to have a greater range of motion than human hand with enhanced precision and dexterity. Via an ergonomic console the surgeon sees a highly magnified, high-resolution image of the operating field allowing better access and increased accuracy.

Robot-assisted surgery is used for a range of cancer and benign conditions by a range of specialists including Urologists, Gynecologists, General Surgeons, Thoracic, Cardiac and Head and Neck surgeons.

To learn more please go to the Robot-Assisted Procedures section.

Important Information for Patients

Serious complications may occur in any surgery, including da Vinci® Surgery, up to and including death. Risks include, but are not limited to, injury to tissues and organs and conversion to other surgical techniques. If your doctor needs to convert the surgery to another surgical technique, this could result in a longer operative time, additional time under anesthesia, additional or larger incisions and/or increased complications. Individual surgical results may vary. Patients who are not candidates for non-robotic minimally invasive surgery are also not candidates for da Vinci Surgery. Patients should talk to their doctor to decide if da Vinci Surgery is right for them. Patients and doctors should review all available information on non-surgical and surgical options in order to make an informed decision. Please also refer to www.daVinciSurgery.com/Safety for important safety information.