Robot-Assisted Surgery with the da Vinci® Surgical System
Robot-assisted surgery is a technique that is used in the treatment of several types of cancer. During the procedure, the surgeon sits at a console near the operating table and performs the surgery by controlling robotic arms that hold the surgical instruments and a camera. The instruments and camera are inserted into the patient’s body through several very small incisions. The magnified, three-dimensional view provided by the camera, in combination with very small surgical instruments and highly maneuverable robotic arms, allow trained surgeons to work with precision.
The ability to operate with increased precision can provide important benefits in urologic surgery. Organs such as the prostate are in a tightly confined area, and are close to nerves that affect urinary and sexual function. Avoiding damage to neighboring organs and structures is an important goal of surgery.
Robot-assisted surgery was introduced more than a decade ago and was initially used primarily for prostate surgeries. Since then, its use has expanded to include surgery of the bladder, uterus, colon, rectum, and other organs. Compared with traditional open surgery (in which a single large incision is made), potential advantages of robot-assisted surgery include less bleeding, shorter hospitalization, and a quicker recovery.