What Is The Da Vinci Robot?
Robotic surgery is a form of computer aided surgery. It allows the surgeon, sitting at a console, to use a computer controlled powered robotic device that manipulates instruments at the patient’s bedside to accomplish the surgical task. The device can enhance the surgeon’s ability to perform delicate, difficult movements in tight spaces. The system was first engineered by Stanford Research Institute and the original system is now known as the Da Vinci Surgical System or Da Vinci Robot.
New Procedure Now Available with the Da Vinci Robot
Single Incision Surgery is now here with the Da Vinci Robot. Robotic surgery has been available for several years now and has advantages, some perceived and some real, over traditional laparoscopic surgery. We have been using the robot knowing that true and significant advances in robotic technology would evolve. These advances are now here in the form of Single Incision Laparoscopy. The robotic platform allows the surgeon to obtain the same visualization as with traditional laparoscopy through 1 small incision hidden in the umbilicus. This will significantly improve the cosmesis of the procedure without sacrificing safety. The ability to accomplish both of these has not previously been possible with traditional laparoscopy. Currently it is only approved by the FDA for Gallbladder surgery but will soon be available for many other procedures as well. Advanced Surgeons PC is the only practice in the state of Alabama offering this procedure. It is part of our dedication to the patient to provide the most up to date and state of the art care for our patients.
What General Surgery Operations Are Performed With The Robot?
- Robotic Gastric Bypass Surgery – Gastric bypass is bariatric (weight loss) procedure that is done with minimally invasive technique. The “robot” offers micro precision of the articulating instruments and a 3-D view of the operative field. This can be particularly helpful in a larger patient or patient with a larger liver because of the mechanical forces required and the limited work spaces available in these very heavy (BMI greater than 60). The anastomosis (connections between bowel) can be “hand sewn” with the robot as opposed to using stapling devices. This may have some advantages such as decreasing the stricture rate and possibly decreasing the leak rates.
- Robotic Heller Myotomy – Heller myotomy is a minimally invasive transabdominal procedure done for treatment of achalasia. This disease results in a loss of esophageal contractility (peristalsis) and a hypertonic nonrelaxing lower esophageal section (sphincter). Consequently the esophagus cannot empty well due to a functional obstruction producing symptoms like heartburn and food “hanging up”. Treatment requires division of the thickened, nonrelaxing sphincter muscles of the lower esophagus and upper stomach. This delicate procedure can be accomplished with the robot as well.
- Robotic Colon Surgery – Medical problems such as inflammation of the colon due to Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, colon cancers or diverticular disease may require resection of a portion or the entire colon. These surgeries are often done with a minimally invasive technique and may sometimes be done with the robot.