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What Is Robotic Surgery?

January 26, 2019

It almost sounds like something from a science fiction movie: using a robot to conduct surgery. But it’s not as futuristic as it sounds. In fact, robotic surgery is taking place right here at Orlando Health.

When people first hear about robotic surgery, they may picture a steel contraption with flashing lights and a mind of its own, much like Star Wars’ R2D2 or the “Danger, Will Robinson” robot from the television show, “Lost in Space.”

But robotic surgery is very different. During robotic surgery, the doctor is in control the entire time and works at the robotic surgery system computer to guide the movements of robotic instruments. This gives the doctor more precision and control throughout the process.

How Is Robotic Surgery Performed?

Robotic surgery is minimally invasive, so your doctor makes small incisions at the site of the surgery. Then, a very small 3D camera is inserted into the site and transmits to the computer monitor so the doctor can see everything that is occurring in the surgical site.

To perform the surgery, the doctor moves their fingers at the computer to control the robotic arms and instruments. Because the instruments are much smaller than human fingers, they are able to reach areas within the surgical site that may be more difficult for a surgeon to reach on their own. And, the camera provides the internal view that a surgeon would not otherwise have.Female doctor looking at scan results

In bariatric surgery, for example, when using a robotic system, a surgeon can work in narrow spaces in the abdominal cavity with much higher precision and accuracy.

Benefits of Robotic Surgery

Robotic surgeries are minimally invasive, meaning that instead of making a large incision to open an area of the body for traditional surgery, small incisions are made. Because of this, robotic surgery involves less trauma to the body, so recovery is faster, with a quicker return to daily activities. Most people have less pain and a decreased risk of infection or respiratory difficulties after robotic surgery versus traditional open surgery.

Laparoscopic surgery is another option that has many of the same benefits as robotic surgery. Laparoscopic surgery also is minimally invasive, so recovery time and risk of complications are similar. However, robotic surgery provides a better field of vision during the surgery, with a camera that enables the surgeon to see in 3D instead of 2D. Robotic surgery also allows greater movement of the instruments, enabling a surgeon to move in six directions instead of two, which makes it easier to do difficult tasks.

Why Choose Orlando Health for Robotic Surgery?

Orlando Health has been designated an “Epicenter” by da Vinci technology representative, Intuitive Surgical. This designation was granted because of our excellent patient outcomes, superb safety record and our surgeons’ extensive experience performing a large number of successful robotic surgeries.

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