How Does da Vinci Robotic Surgery Work?
More and more top surgeons are choosing to perform surgery with the
help of robotic tools. At St. Luke's alone, more than 8,000 robotic surgeries
have been performed in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Surgeries and procedures that once required large
incisions and weeks of recovery are now minimally invasive, more
effective and return patients to normal activities in a matter of days.
Robots in the Operating Room
There are several types of robots in use at St. Luke's. For cardiac care, St. Luke's is home to Iowa's only Hansen Sensei Robotic Catheter. For urological, gynecological and some general surgeries, the da Vinci Si Surgical Robot allows doctors to operate with greater precision and minimal discomfort for the patient.
The robotic surgery process. While the procedures vary, the process of robotic surgery typically involves the following:
- Throughout the robotic surgery the surgeon sits at a special console.
- A very small 3D camera and dime-sized surgical instruments are
placed inside the patient through tiny incisions. The camera gives
the surgeon a magnified 360 degree view of the operative field.
- Using the console's hand and foot controls, the surgeon remotely
moves robotic arms attached to surgical instruments. A second surgeon
is positioned at the operating table to confirm the correct placement
of the surgical instruments.
Benefits of robotic surgery. Compared to traditional techniques, the
very small incisions created by robotic surgery drastically reduce
patients' time in the hospital and their risk of infections. The use of
high-definition 3D cameras allows surgeons close-up views of areas they
aren't able to see during open surgery. Fully articulating robotic arms
mimic the movement of hands, allowing surgeons to have greater dexterity
and control than is possible with conventional laparoscopic
Inside the OR. The diagram below illustrates the operating room layout for the da Vinci Surgical robot.