The da Vinci® Surgical System: Is robotic-assisted surgery right for you?

robotic assisted surgery

Author: Michael Traver, MD, FACS

Patients who require surgery typically worry about a variety of issues. These may include the often-invasive nature of surgical procedures—as well as how long recovery will take. Fortunately, advances in medical technology have led to minimally-invasive surgical techniques from which many patients can benefit. One of these techniques involves robotic-assisted surgery, which is possible using technologies such as the da Vinci® surgical system.  

What is the da Vinci® surgical system?

The da Vinci® surgical system was originally launched in 1999 and became one of the first robotic-assisted surgical systems to gain clearance by regulatory agencies for specific types of surgical procedures. The da Vinci® system is made up of three components: 

  • Surgeon console—where the surgeon sits during surgery. The console provides a 3D view of the patient’s anatomy and allows the surgeon to control the surgical instruments with great precision.
  • Patient-side cart—which is positioned near the patient on the operating table. There, the instruments used during surgery move in response to the surgeon’s expert guidance at the surgeon console. 
  • Vision cart—which is the communication link between system components and provides 3D high-definition vision. 

By using these components of the da Vinci® surgical system, the procedure can be performed through small laparoscopic openings using tiny surgical instruments. With only small incisions required, the surgeon’s hand movements are scaled, filtered and translated into precise movements of these micro-instruments. Throughout the procedure, a magnified, 3D high definition camera gives the surgeon an exceptionally detailed view of the patient’s anatomy and the surgical site. 

What are the benefits of using the da Vinci® surgical system?

Robotic-assisted surgical systems like da Vinci® can offer a number of benefits, since they provide a less invasive approach and allow the surgeon to have a more detailed view of the patient’s internal anatomy and surgical site. This often results in:

  • Shorter hospital stays
  • Smaller incisions
  • Reduced pain
  • Minimal blood loss
  • Faster recovery
  • Quicker return to normal activities

How do I know if the da Vinci® surgical system is right for me?

Determining whether robotic-assisted surgery is right for you should start with a discussion with your healthcare provider. The da Vinci® surgical system has been approved for use during several types of urological procedures—including removal of the prostate gland (prostatectomy), which is often done as a treatment for prostate cancer.  In fact, our experts consider the da Vinci® Surgical System to be the most advanced tool available for performing this procedure. If you or a loved one has a prostate cancer diagnosis, the da Vinci® Surgical System may be an option worth considering. 

If you have any questions regarding the da Vinci® Surgical System or if you think it may be right for you, our team of professionals are here to answer any questions to help you make an informed decision. Please contact us today to make an appointment with one of our physicians.