Minimally invasive surgery has made great advances in the last few years. Introduction of the da Vinci® robot system, which we use at Dr. Tootla Robotics in Waterford, has allowed one to perform complex colon and rectal surgery through tiny incisions. The minimally invasive robotic surgery for colon and rectum can be done for cancerous and non-cancerous diseases.
Robotic surgery has tremendous advantages over open and conventional laparoscopic surgery. The robot allows for a 3-D view of the surgical fields and also magnification of the operative field. This allows more precise dissection since the different layers are so easily visualized. Major structures are also easily seen, even compared to the naked eye in open operations. The other advantage is the tips of the operating instruments, which behave like the wrists of your hand and allow movements in all directions. The laparoscopic instruments in conventional laparoscopic surgery do not have this ability.
The da Vinci® robotic surgery is done through three to four 1-2cm incisions. This causes less post- operative pain and less chance of infection. As a result, there is less need for narcotics to control pain.
Patients’ stay in the hospital after this type of surgery is much shorter than with open surgery. There is less blood loss and as a result, less need for a blood transfusion. Recovery is much faster and patients return to work sooner. Overall, the complication rate is much lower than open surgery. There is also less depression of the immune system, which is especially relevant for cancer patients. Laparoscopic surgery also causes less adhesions (scar tissue) and as a result less chance of getting small bowel obstruction.
Robotic surgery is the future and continues to develop. As more knowledge is gained by the public about this technology the greater the patient demand for this kind of intervention.
If you’d like to learn more about surgery using the da Vinci® robot, please visit the links below.
- Intuitive Surgical, makers of the da Vinci® surgical system
- Robotic Surgery Offers Precise Handling, Quicker Procedures, from ABC News
- Going Under the da Vinci ® , from Forbes Magazine
- Robotic Surgery Technology Gives Doctors “sense of touch”, from Science Daily
- Doctors turn to robots in surgery, from ABC News
- CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta on da Vinci® Surgery
- What surgery will look like in the future, from CNN health