What to ask your surgeon to ensure you get the greatest benefit from the procedure
Experience, case volume and training should be factors in a patient’s decision. In fact, according to a recent research review published in the journal European Urology, if you are considering robot-assisted surgery for a urologic cancer or condition, such as prostate or bladder cancer, you should seriously consider having your surgery done by a physician who has performed at least 80 operations.
For any type of minimally invasive surgery, ask your surgeon:
• How many procedures have you done? • Where did you receive your training? • How long have you been doing the procedure? • Can you provide outcomes data? • Do you keep abreast of new advances? • How do you hone your skills? • How many robotic surgeons are on staff at your hospital?
For more information about Roswell Park Cancer Institute Click here
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Who are the best candidates for robot-assisted surgery?
Answer: The ideal robot-assisted patient is an individual who has not had many abdominal surgeries. Typical abdominal surgeries such as an appendectomy, a cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal), and an inguinal hernia repair do not exclude individuals from having a robotic procedure.
Patients with significant cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases may require an extensive cardiac and medical clearance before they would be consider for robotic surgery.
Ultimately, the decision to move forward will rest upon the surgeon and the patient’s primary care physician.
Question: What are the benefits of robot-assisted surgery?
Answer: During conventional laparoscopy, the surgeon has to look away from the instruments to a video monitor to see inside the surgical site. The more times he/she has to look away while holding the instruments, the greater the chance that his precision could be compromised. With robotics, the instrument maneuvers are higher in dexterity and complexity. Even better, the robot was designed to alleviate the hand tremor. After hours of surgery, even the best surgeons have had to deal with hand tremors.
Furthermore, robot-assisted surgery is minimally-invasive. Let’s say that in a traditional prostatectomy, the incision is typically 8 to 10 inches long. Using robotics for this same surgery, the patient will have only five-to-six small incisions averaging the diameter of a dime. With such enhanced capabilities, patients will experience reduced trauma to the body, reduced blood loss and the potential need for transfusions, less post-operative pain and discomfort, lower risk for infection, shorter hospital stays, faster recoveries and less scarring.
Other significant advantages of robotic-assisted prostatectomy is the short duration in which a patient has to wear a catheter. Traditional prostatectomy required that the catheter must be left in place for 14-to-21 days while a robotic-assisted prostatectomy patient has to wear a catheter. With the increase dexterity of the robot as well as the advantage of 3-D optics, a surgeon can perform a much better “nerve-sparing” operation and reduce their patients’ risk of developing erectile dysfunction after their prostatectomy. For more Click here
Q.How does robotic surgery with the da Vinci S Surgical System work? A. During a robotic surgical procedure, the surgeon sits in the system console a few feet away from the patient. The surgeon looks through the vision system—like a pair of binoculars—inside the patient’s body. The system provides a three-dimensional view of the surgical site with magnification 10 times that of the naked eye. The surgeon moves the handles on the console to control the robot’s arms holding the micro-surgical instruments. These handles make precise movements easier, reduce surgeon fatigue and remove the risk of unsteadiness or shaking. The computerized robotic “hands” mirror the natural motions of a surgeon. After the initial incision, only the robotic hands touch the patient. Q. What are the benefits of da Vinci Surgery compared with traditional methods of surgery? A. Some of the major benefits experienced by surgeons using the da Vinci Surgical System over traditional approaches have been greater surgical precision, increased range of motion, improved dexterity, enhanced visualization and improved access. Benefits experienced by patients may include a shorter hospital stay, less pain, less risk of infection, less blood loss, fewer transfusions, less scarring, faster recovery and a quicker return to normal daily activities. None of these benefits can be guaranteed, as surgery is necessarily both patient- and procedure-specific.
Q: Where is the da Vinci Surgical System being used now? A. Currently, The da Vinci Surgical System is being used in hundreds of locations worldwide, in major centers in the United States, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, India, Japan, the Netherlands, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Australia and Turkey. Q. Has the da Vinci Surgical System been cleared by the FDA? A. Yes, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared the da Vinci Surgical System for a wide range of procedures. Q: Is da Vinci Surgery covered by insurance? A. da Vinci Surgery is categorized as robot-assisted minimally invasive surgery, so any insurance that covers minimally invasive surgery generally covers da Vinci Surgery. This is true for widely held insurance plans like Medicare. It is important to note that your coverage will depend on your plan and benefits package. For specifics regarding reimbursement for da Vinci Surgery, or if you have been denied coverage, please call the Reimbursement Hotline at 1-888-868-4647 ext. 3128. From outside the United States, please call 33-1-39-04-26-90.
Q. Will the da Vinci Surgical System make the surgeon unnecessary? A. On the contrary, the da Vinci System enables surgeons to be more precise, advancing their technique and enhancing their capability in performing complex minimally invasive surgery. The System replicates the surgeon's movements in real time. It cannot be programmed, nor can it make decisions on its own to move in any way or perform any type of surgical maneuver without the surgeon's input. Q. Is a surgeon using the da Vinci Surgical System operating in "virtual reality"? A. Although seated at a console a few feet away from the patient, the surgeon views an actual image of the surgical field while operating in real-time, through tiny incisions, using miniaturized, wristed instruments. At no time does the surgeon see a virtual image or program/command the system to perform any maneuver on its own/outside of the surgeon's direct, real-time control. Q. While using the da Vinci Surgical System, can the surgeon feel anything inside the patient's chest or abdomen? A. The system relays some force feedback sensations from the operative field back to the surgeon throughout the procedure. This force feedback provides a substitute for tactile sensation and is augmented by the enhanced vision provided by the high-resolution 3D view. Q: What procedures have been performed using the da Vinci Surgical System? What additional procedures are possible? A. The da Vinci System is a robotic surgical platform designed to enable complex procedures of all types to be performed through 1-2 cm incisions or operating "ports." To date, tens of thousands of procedures including general, urologic, gynecologic, thoracoscopic, and thoracoscopically-assisted cardiotomy procedures have been performed using the da Vinci Surgical System. Q. Why is it called the da Vinci ® Surgical System? A. The product is called "da Vinci" in part because Leonardo da Vinci invented the first robot. He also used unparalleled anatomical accuracy and three-dimensional details to bring his masterpieces to life. The da Vinci Surgical System similarly provides physicians with such enhanced detail and precision that the System can simulate an open surgical environment while allowing operation through tiny incisions.
What Should I Know About Robotic Surgery for Gynecologic Cancer?
By Jeffrey Fowler, MD Director, Division of Gynecologic Oncology Co-director, Ohio State’s Center for Advanced Robotic Surgery Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center–James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute Professor, Ohio State University
Q. What is robotic surgery and how does it work?
A. Robotic surgery in gynecologic oncology is a major surgical procedure performed in a minimally invasive fashion. It involves sophisticated medical devices that allow surgeons to operate through tiny incisions, using enhanced imagery and incredibly precise movements. Robotic-assisted surgery offers improved, magnified visualization in high-definition 3D. Surgeons are able to precisely control the surgical instruments because they offer seven degrees of free motion (like a wrist).
Robotic surgery was introduced in 1999 but was only recently approved (in 2005) by the Food and Drug Administration for use with gynecologic procedures. While the benefits of this cutting-edge technology are great, one thing remains unchanged: the experience of the surgeon is crucial to the success of the procedure, particularly when it comes to more-complex surgeries, such as those involving cancer.
Q. To which types of gynecologic cancers would robotic surgery best apply?
A. Approximately 40,000 women are diagnosed with gynecologic cancer in the United States each year. Most of these women require major surgery that includes a hysterectomy and a lymph node dissection, which is required for staging. Some women need a radical hysterectomy, a more aggressive form of hysterectomy used in the treatment of cervical cancer. Most of these major procedures have been performed through a large incision in the abdomen, but robotic surgery is now a viable and much less invasive option.
Endometrial, or uterine, cancer is the most common gynecologic malignancy. In our experience the great majority of these patients are eligible for robotic surgery. Patients with early-stage cervical and ovarian cancer are also eligible for robotic-assisted minimally invasive surgery.
The approximately 600,000 women in the United States each year who undergo hysterectomies for reasons not related to cancer are also good candidates. The great majority of these patients undergo traditional open abdominal surgery or laparotomy (70 to 80 percent). Many of these patients would benefit from robotic surgery because it’s much less invasive and provides many advantages over open surgery.
Q. What are the benefits of robotic surgery for gynecologic cancers?
A. Robotic surgery can offer patients significant benefits compared with traditional open surgery:
Less blood loss
Shorter recovery time
A faster return to normal daily activities
In our experience patients have a decreased length of hospital stay, less postoperative pain, and an overall lower risk of complications that are more common with open surgeries, such as wound infection, bowel function issues, and the need for a blood transfusion. Most patients return to full function earlier than with open surgery/laparotomy.
Q. Are there any serious risks or side effects of robotic surgery for gynecologic cancers? If so, what are they?
A. Although robotic surgery has been found to minimize complications and improve outcomes for many patients, the surgery is still a major procedure and complications are possible. Patients should discuss all the options and potential side effects with their physicians.
Q. What makes a patient a good candidate for robotic surgery for gynecologic cancers?
A. Most patients with apparent early-stage disease will be potential candidates for robotic-assisted surgery. Some patients with very large ovarian tumors or advanced-stage disease that requires a large incision to remove the tumors are usually not good candidates for robotic or other minimally invasive surgery.
Q. What should I look for when choosing my surgeon?
A. Patients with gynecologic cancer should seek subspecialists who have completed a fellowship in gynecologic oncology and who are board certified or board eligible. It is very important that the surgeon has knowledge of the natural history of the disease and expertise in treatment options and surgical anatomy.
Robotic surgery is only a tool to accomplish the surgical goal for a patient with a gynecologic malignancy. Adding layers of technology to the surgical procedure adds complexity to the operation. Patients should seek out surgeons who perform this procedure regularly in a high-volume center.
Q. What can I expect before, during, and after a robotic procedure?
A. Preoperative preparation is identical to other preoperative procedures:
Patients are counseled in the office and provided educational materials.
Patients undergo general anesthesia and therefore have no recollection of the procedure.
Patients are usually closely observed overnight after robotic gynecologic oncology procedures. The majority of patients will be discharged the next day.
Q. How does robotic surgery compare with other surgical options for gynecologic cancers?
A. Prior to the advent of robotics, laparoscopic surgery was utilized as a minimally invasive option for gynecologic surgery. With robotics, the surgeon is able to control the camera and the surgical and retraction instruments, which offers an increased level of control over the procedure compared with laparoscopy. Other limitations of laparoscopic surgery include a limited field of vision, counterintuitive motion, limited degrees of freedom of surgical instruments, and suboptimal ergonomics for the surgeon. Surgeons have been slow to adopt its use in major gynecologic procedures due to these limitations and the long and complicated learning curve.
Patients undergoing open surgery, or laparotomy, for cervical and endometrial cancer have a higher incidence of post-operative complications, including wound infections, bowel function issues, and blood transfusions. In open versus robotic surgeries, the need for pain medications may be more, the hospital stay may be longer, and a patient’s return to full function may take weeks.
Q. How do you see robotic surgery changing in the next several years? What will be available for patients in the near future?
A. Robotic surgery will remain an option for patients requiring pelvic and abdominal surgery. More surgeons are likely to adopt this technology, which will increase availability to patients. Further technology improvements are likely. Article from cancerconsultants.com
Questions About Robotic Hysterectomy
approximately 600,000 American women have hysterectomies, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. By age 60, one in three American women has had her uterus removed, often along with her ovaries and cervix.Critics who say far too many hysterectomies are done in the United States worry that all the attention to surgical method distracts from the question of whether patients should be having the surgery at all.Most hysterectomies are prescribed for conditions that are not life-threatening, and advocates worry that women are not fully informed of the long-term harms, which may include a loss of sexual responsiveness, depression and chronic constipation, and higher risk for osteoporosis and heart disease, said Nora W. Coffey, the founder of the nonprofit Hysterectomy Educational Resources and Services Foundation.
Nora W. Coffey and other experts emphasize that women considering a hysterectomy should discuss all options with their doctors.
¶Ask what the alternatives are and whether watchful waiting is an option. Remember that it is irreversible, regardless of how the surgery is done.
¶Learn about the nonreproductive functions of the uterus, ovaries and cervix, and the potential long-term consequences associated with their removal, as well as the function of the ovaries and cervix.
¶If you proceed, discuss the advantages and disadvantages of different surgical methods with your doctor. Interview several surgeons and inquire about the cost and how much insurance will cover. Your co-pay may vary depending on the surgical method.
¶Tell your surgeon if you do not want your ovaries and cervix removed.
How important are innovations such as robotic surgery in the medical world?
Without innovation, there is no forward progression of the science of surgery. At times, even though it may not be what we think is the most cost-effective or efficient manner, if we don't continue to explore these areas, then we'll be standing still and there will be no advances made within surgery.
If there is no one out there willing to explore, then unfortunately, it will never be ready for prime time. It takes people with a certain amount of patience and dedication to drive these technologies.
Who is typically involved in the development of these technologies?
Most of the medical innovations in the past have been driven by industry, but now there seems to be more of a collaboration or cooperation between industry and physicians. The two are working more closely, and, in fact, I think the more successful ventures are those that have a better collaboration with the surgeons and physicians involved in the workings of the technology. What types of research and development processes are used?
A lot of it starts out with an idea. A prototype is developed, it's usually tested in an inanimate system,basically just being sure that it functions as we suspect, then it may move into an animal system with a laboratory setting. In order to actually bring something to the patient, it becomes much more difficult.
Initially, it involves the internal review boards of hospitals, and then this information is usually taken by the company back to the FDA in order to get approval for use with humans.
How do you take something like robotic surgery from idea to practice?
We've learned that it's difficult for surgeons or physicians on our own to bring something to market. Usually, once an idea seems to be brought to fruition, and we feel as though we have reasonable inanimate or animal testing, then we may go out and look for industry to help us further test, and then sponsor, its production. That's if something comes as a pure idea from within the hospital.
Other times, even from the outset, the idea may be generated by a physician directly to a company. Then, working together with the company, the idea is brought to fruition. Most of the time, especially if you talk about things like robotics, industry is leading and we're collaborating.
What changes in training will this type of technology require?
We don't know. What we're trying to do overall with innovation is we want to improve the standard of care provided to the patient. The question is, how do you improve the standard of care?
Instead of training people in the actual operating room when we're operating on patients, can we use innovations to train surgeons in more of a simulated environment? That would improve skill sets so that when the patient and the physician actually meet, the physician has a higher level of skill.
The presumed learning curve would have been addressed early on in a simulator or inanimate model, much like how a pilot learns how to fly planes.
What efficiencies does robotics create in medical operations?
Robotics is what I like to refer to as an enabling technology. There are a lot of surgeons who, without the robot, can perform a particular task, but it's not every surgeon. If you take 10 surgeons and ask them to perform a particular task, some will do well on it and some may not do as well.
What the robot does is it levels the playing field and it allows all 10 surgeons to accomplish the task at an acceptable standard.
Minimally invasive surgeries are done through small incisions rather than large incisions that may cut across large areas of tissue. Often special instruments and visualization are needed.
What are the benefits of minimally invasive procedures?
When procedures are performed through small incisions, there is less bleeding, pain and risk of infection as well as faster recovery times and shorter hospital stays. Patients return more quickly to normal living. Some studies show improved clinical results for robotic surgery. For example, da Vinci prostatectomy has been shown to substantially reduce post-operative pain while hastening recovery. Studies also indicate that this procedure may offer improved cancer control along with a lower incidence of impotence and urinary incontinence.
What procedures can be done with the robotics system?
Urological, gynecological and general surgeries. At West Boca, minimally invasive prostatectomy and hysterectomy are common robotics procedures.
How long has robotic surgery been performed?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the da Vinci S Surgical System in 2000, making it the first robotic system allowed inside American operating rooms. There are extensive clinical studies of the effectiveness and patient benefits of this robotic surgical system Learn more about clinical studies
Q and A about Robotic Prostatectomy.
Does the robot do the surgery? No, the surgeon does the operation. The robot is an instrument that allows the surgeon to operate in small spaces in the body. It essentially makes the surgeon's hands two seven millimeter instruments.
What if the robotic equipment fails during the surgery? This is a highly unlikely scenario, but in the event that the robot mechanically fails during surgery, the procedure would be completed with either conventional laparoscopic or open surgery.
How do I know if I am a candidate for robotic Prostatectomy? Potential candidates for the da Vinci procedure should ideally be under 75 years old and weigh less than 350 lbs. In addition, previous pelvic radiation or multiple abdominal surgeries will make you ineligible for this procedure. If you meet this criteria, we would like the opportunity to present you with some of the potential benefits of the da Vinci Prostatectomy option. Most patients who are candidates for open surgery would have an excellent outcome with this procedure.
Why should I choose robotic prostatectomy instead of traditional open surgery? If your doctor recommends surgery to treat your prostate cancer, you may be a candidate for da Vinci Prostatectomy. This new, less-invasive surgical procedure utilizes a state-of-the-art surgical system that helps your surgeon see vital anatomical structures more clearly and to perform a more precise surgical procedure. For most patients, robotic prostatectomy offers numerous potential benefits over open prostatectomy, including: • Shorter hospital stay • Less pain and pain medication • Less blood loss and transfusions • Less scarring Faster recovery • Quicker return to normal activities
As with any surgery, these benefits cannot be guaranteed, as surgery is both patient- and procedure-specific. While prostatectomy performed using the da Vinci Surgical System is considered safe and effective, this procedure may not be appropriate for every individual.
Will I need to donate blood to have available during my robotic prostatectomy? One of the many benefits of da Vinci surgery is minimal loss of blood. Therefore, it is not necessary to have your blood available for transfusion.
Does the robotic prostatectomy surgery require general anesthesia? Yes. Although the da Vinci Prostatectomy offers many advantages compared to conventional surgery, it is still major surgery, requiring general anesthesia and a hospital stay.
How is the prostate removed? One of the operating port sites is used to remove the prostate, usually the one at the umbilicus.
How long does the operation take? Typically, the procedure itself will take 2-3 hours, although unusual circumstances could increase the time required.
Is a nerve sparing prostatectomy possible? Yes, this is where the robot performs best. The surgeon has the benefit of 10X magnification and the fine delicate instrumentation to perform the precise removal of the nerve bundles off the prostate.
How long will I have to stay in the hospital after surgery? The average patient stay is 2.5 days with the majority of patients leaving within 2 days. Many robotic prostatectomy patients are able to go home within 24 hours after surgery.
Will I be incontinent of urine (i.e. wear a diaper) after surgery? The majority of men are continent after the procedure. Thus far we have achieved a 100% continence rate. However, there is no guarantee of continence. There is always a risk of incontinence following prostate surgery. The robotic technique simply allows a much better anastamosis of the bladder and urethra after the prostate is removed, permitting improved healing and a quicker return to continence post surgery.
How should I pace myself to avoid incontience problems? To minimize urine leakage, void more frequently than you might otherwise. For example, if you leak after 2 hours, then urinate by the clock every 1.5 hours. “Pre-emptive voiding.”
To decrease the leakage, you should learn to do Kegel exercises. To make sure you know how to contract your pelvic floor muscles, stop the flow of urine while you’re going to the bathroom. If you can stop the flow, you’ve got the basic move. Make sure you aren’t flexing your abs or thighs or buttocks. Stand in front of the mirror and flex the pelvic floor – if done properly, the only things that move are the scrotum and penis.
How much pain will I be in? Since the surgery is done through a small incision, most patients experience much less post procedure pain then with open surgery. Patients tend to need much less pain medication. After one week, most are feeling no pain at all. Also, there is a decreased risk of post-operative hernias.
How soon can I bathe after the surgery? You may shower after you get home, but bathing in the tub is not recommended for the first two weeks. Treat the incision sites carefully and pat them dry, rather than rubbing. How long will I have to have the catheter in after surgery? Less than one week. A drain is left in after the procedure which may be taken out 2-3 days later.
When can I exercise? Light walking is encouraged right after the procedure. After 2 weeks, jogging and aerobic exercise is permitted. After four weeks, heavy lifting can resume.
Will I be able to resume normal sexual relations after this procedure? Not immediately, although erectile function returns for most patients within 9 to12 months. Some patients are able to resume sexual intercourse within a shorter time. You may temporarily require the additional assistance of prescription medication. Although all individuals are different, your doctor will work closely with you to ensure the best possible outcomes after surgery, including sexual function.
Will my insurance cover the da Vinci surgery? The majority of insurance companies pay for this surgery as they would the traditional open or laparoscopic prostatectomy; however there are exceptions. Please consult with your carrier to confirm your coverage prior to surgery. For more information Click here
Why get your PSA screened?
The American Cancer Society is urging doctors to:
1. Discuss the pros and cons of testing with their patients, including giving them written information or videos that discuss the likelihood of false test results and the side effects of treatment.
2. Stop performing the rectal exam as a standard prostate cancer screening because it has not clearly shown a benefit, though it can remain an option.
3. Use past PSA readings to determine how often follow-up tests are needed and to guide conversations about treatment.
The Oregon Urology Institute applauds the American Cancer Society (ACS) for its new guidance statement on prostate cancer detection. We agree that a discussion between physician and patient about the risks and benefits of testing is a key part of one's decision to be tested for prostate cancer. Prostate Cancer testing is an individual decision that patients should make together with their doctor.
The Oregon Urology Institute also agrees with the American Urological Association that all men, with a life expectancy of 10 years or more, should:
1. Have a baseline PSA test at the age of 40.
2. Determine with their physician rescreening intervals based on PSA results. 3. Determine the need for a prostate biopsy based not only on elevated PSA and/or abnormal DRE results, but on additional factors such as free and total PSA, patient age, PSA velocity, PSA density, family history, ethnicity, prior biopsy history and comorbidities....read more
Robotic Heart Surgery
What Is Robotic Cardiac Surgery?
Robotic cardiac surgery, or closed-chest heart surgery, is one type of non-invasive procedure used by cardiac surgeons to treat patients. Doctors operate a specialized computer control system to perform this technologically advanced surgical procedure. Robotic cardiac surgery treats heart disease and other heart conditions in some patients. Doctors must conduct tests to ensure that the patient qualifies for robotic cardiac surgery.
Compared to traditional open-heart surgery, robotic cardiac surgery offers several benefits to the patient. In addition to a short, three- or four-day hospital stay, the procedure leaves less pain, bleeding, and scarring. The risk of infection decreases with this type of surgery. Robotic cardiac surgery also helps to decrease the patient's dependence on pain medications. Unlike traditional surgery, the patient may resume normal activities following a short recovery from robot-assisted surgery....find out more
T Sloane Guy MD performing robotic heart surgery
T. Sloane Guy, MD
Dr. Guy earned his MD and did both general surgery residency and cardiothoracic surgery fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA. He has extensive training and experience in robotic cardiac surgery. He is also a former active duty Lieutenant Colonel in U.S. Army who served 3 tours as a combat surgeon in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is an Associate Professor of Surgery and Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Temple University in Philadelphia.
Dr. Lawrence Dorr: 6 Points Making the Case for Robotics in Hip Surgery
Several hip surgeons — including Lawrence D. Dorr, MD, of the Dorr Arthritis Institute at good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles, Amar Ranawat, MD, of the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, Douglas Padgett, MD, also of Hospital for Special Surgery, Mark Pagnano, MD, of Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., Robert Trousdale, MD, also of Mayo and Richard Jones, MD, of Orthopedic Specialists in Dallas — have been working on a project to develop software for robotic-guided navigation for hip surgery.
"Our whole idea with this program was to improve the human performance of the surgeon during the hip replacement," says Dr. Dorr. "Right now, we are really good at fixation with the implants, but we haven't reduced the number of revisions. We kind of hit the wall in terms of doing the operation."
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Robotic Pediatric Surgery
Dr. Chester Koh, M.D., Director, Robotic Surgery Program at Childrens Hospital, LA., Answers Questions About Robotic Pediatric Surgery
Q: What makes robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgery different than “regular” laparoscopic surgery? It comes down to range of motion. In laparoscopic surgery, the instruments are limited in their movements. However, the ends of the robot’s arms have “Endowrist” technology (meaning that the tiny ends of the robot’s arms have the same flexibility as human hands to perform complex maneuvers inside a child’s body, like suturing).
What this means for our patients is that performing reconstructive surgery through the tiny incisions associated with robotic surgery results in more precise surgical procedures than with regular laparoscopic surgery. More exact movements by the surgeon usually result in a more accurate and safe surgery.
Q: What should I look for when deciding where to bring my child for minimally-invasive or robotic surgery? When it comes to surgery, better health outcomes and fewer complications are usually associated with surgeons who have completed a higher number of procedures. In January 2010, our hospital surpassed a major milestone by performing our 100th robotic surgery only 18 months after the arrival of our pediatric robot. We’re delighted to be a major center for robotic surgery in children. Q: What other options should I consider for my child? Newer methods of surgery are always being investigated and tested and minimally invasive surgery is even more crucial for children than it is for adults. I’m proud that our hospital is already ahead of the curve in early adoption of minimally invasive surgery for children. In addition to robotic surgery, other options we provide include:
• “Belly-button” surgery or “virtually scarless” surgery [also known as "Laparoendoscopic Single Site (LESS) surgery" or "single-incision laparoscopic surgery"(SILS)] where the only incision made is through the belly button.
These newer methods of surgery not only result in great health outcomes, but they also minimize recovery time for a child (in some of our cases, the time required in the hospital to recover prior to going home is 25% of what it would be with a standard surgical approach).
The advantages to a child and to the child’s family of being able to return to life as usual this quickly cannot be overestimated. Quite simply, what we want most is to help kids live happy, healthy lives, recover as quickly as possible and with the least amount of pain. And if robots and minimally invasive surgical methods can help us accomplish that, it’s very exciting for me, as a surgeon, to be a part of it.....read more
Visit the American Cancer Society for Questions about Robotic Surgery
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