Robotic Surgery – da Vinci Surgical System

Robotic surgery at a glance

  • Robotic surgery is a surgical method in which a surgeon controls a robotic medical device that translates the surgeon’s hand movements to perform complex surgical movements.
  • Robotic surgery allows the surgeon to perform precise operations in hard to access areas.
  • A robot does not perform the surgery; the surgeon directs the robot’s actions.
  • Benefits of robotic surgery include less scarring, reduced chance of infection, faster recovery and fewer complications.
  • Urology Associates uses the da Vinci robotic surgical system.
  • Robotic surgery is used to treat prostate cancer, kidney cancer, and obstruction of the kidney (UPJ obstruction).

What is robotic surgery?

Robotic surgery is a form of minimally invasive surgery that uses a robot to perform complex surgical procedures in a less invasive manner. Robotic surgery is an alternative to traditional open surgery and laparoscopy.

Urology Associates uses the da Vinci Surgical System, one of the most advanced robotic systems in use. Benefits from robotic surgery include:

  • Shorter hospital stays
  • Faster recovery
  • Less pain, blood loss, scarring and infection risk
  • Fewer post-operation complications

Robotic prostatectomy, also known as robotic assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy, is a minimally invasive procedure to treat prostate cancer. A simple prostatectomy removes the inside section of an enlarged prostate; a radical prostatectomy is used for prostate cancer and removes the entire prostate and some surrounding tissue.

Robotic prostatectomy allows for several possible advantages. Compared to open prostate surgery, the incisions are smaller, the hospital stay is shorter, return of urinary control is faster and more complete, and there is some evidence that it allows men to return to full sexual function more completely.

Robotic surgery is not appropriate for all conditions or patients.

Robotic surgery may also be used in the following urology surgery procedures:

  • Pyeloplasty—urinary blockage surgery
  • Cystectomy—partial or full bladder removal
  • Nephrectomy—kidney removal
  • Ureteral reimplantation—surgical repositioning of the ureter and its connection to the bladder

How da Vinci surgery works

The da Vinci Robotic surgical system allows the surgeon to perform complex and major surgeries in a less invasive manner. The system converts surgeon’s hand movements into even more precise instrument action. The surgeon controls the “robot” from a console and views the surgical site with a 3D high-definition view of the surgical area via a small camera. The surgeon sits a control console and operates robotic arms that hold instruments positioned within the surgical site.

The robotic arm of the da Vinci Surgical System can execute a larger range of motions with more precise actions than a surgeon’s hand alone. Special instruments, attached to the robotic arm and controlled by the surgeon, perform all surgical functions including incisions, clamping and suturing.

Considerations of robotic surgery

Robotic surgery is not appropriate for every patient and every case. As with any surgery, complications, such as infection, may occur no matter how low the risk. Minimally invasive surgery procedures carry specific risks, such as longer operating and anesthesia times and short-term nerve damage due to positioning of the patient on the system’s table. After surgery, some patients may experience shoulder pain or pain caused from the gas used during surgery.

Men undergoing a radical prostatectomy may experience urinary leakage, rectal or bowel injury, lymph fluid build up in the legs or pelvic area, and possible problems getting and maintaining an erection.

All patients undergoing robotic surgery should discuss with their surgeon any concerns and ask questions about their procedure beforehand.