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Why Robotic Surgery May Be a Better Choice than Open Surgery

March 03, 2020

Many people have heard the term “robotic surgery” before, but what does it mean exactly? This question arises when patients must decide between using a surgeon who opts for this new and highly technical form of surgery or a surgeon who recommends traditional open surgery. Fortunately, robotic surgery is less intimidating than it sounds and, in most cases, offers several advantages. 

For those who must undergo a surgical procedure, consider asking your surgeon whether robotic surgery is right for you. In the meantime, here’s more information on this new surgical method.

First Off, What Is Robotic Surgery?

Robotic surgery — or robotic-assisted surgery — is a minimally invasive type of surgery in which surgeons use a console equipped with controllers that maneuver robotic arms. This console (called a da Vinci surgical system) also has a 3-D high-definition camera that provides a clear and magnified view of the target area. Using the console’s tiny and precise instruments, the surgeon can create small incisions, cauterize, staple, grasp and perform other actions — just as they would with their hands. 

While the term “robotic surgery” may sound as if a robot is performing the procedure, the surgeon is in full control of the movement of all the instruments. 

What Are Some of the Benefits of Robotic Surgery?

Because it is less invasive and more precise, robotic surgery offers several patient benefits when compared to traditional open surgery. These include:

  • Smaller incisions

  • Lower risk of infection

  • Shorter hospital stays

  • Less pain and/or blood loss

  • Faster recovery times

  • Minimized scarring 

  • Less reliance on narcotics during post-op

There also are several reasons why many surgeons prefer this technologically advanced form of surgery. To begin with, some surgeons like robotic cases as the visualization is far superior to laparoscopic surgery. Oher aids in the robot platform can help surgeons better assess blood supply to organs, as well as identify important but hard-to-see structures, such as bile ducts. Even the robotic stapler, for instance, has fail-safes that prevent mistakes. 

Is Robotic Surgery Better?

While robotic surgery can reduce pain and healing time while allowing surgeons more or better control, it isn't for everyone. Simply put, every surgical technique has its place. In some cases, open surgery provides surgeons better access to the area being operated on. Or, a patient's medical condition or age may require open surgery.

More and more complex surgeries are being done robotically, however. Hernia surgery, for example, is far easier for some surgeons to perform through a robotic procedure. While it’s difficult to say which type of surgery is “better” for now, robotic techniques and instruments are only getting better each year. In the future, patients may find this choice between robotic and open surgery an easier one to navigate.

Choose minimally invasive robotic surgery.

Orlando Health is proud to be a leader in robotic surgery, offering the benefits of this advanced minimally invasive technology to our patients.

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