Da Vinci Robotic Surgery has been in the news quite a bit lately. Our own Dr. Anthony Agrios recently celebrated 5 years of performing robot-assisted procedures on patients. In light of this, we thought it might be helpful to explain what the da Vinci system is and how this exciting technology benefits patients.
Before you start picturing patients in an assembly line, though, don’t worry. The machinery doesn’t guide the surgery. It simply assists the surgeon. Dr. Agrios has actively performed every robotic surgery procedure he has been a part of.
Smaller Incisions and Reduced Scarring
Robotic tools can be far more compact than human hands. They require less space to maneuver and their movements are programmed, and therefore more precise.
Think of it as the difference between handwriting and typing. No matter how skilled you are at lettering, there will always be minor variations on how each letter comes out. When words typed on a keyboard are printed, though, there is no variation. The letters will look exactly the same and take up the exact same amount of space on the page every time.
That type of precision in a surgical procedure allows surgeons to work in a much smaller area. A surgery that would have required an 8-inch incision when performed manually can now be done with a 1.5-inch incision. This means patients heal faster and have vastly reduced visible scarring.
Increased Visibility for the Surgeon
Robotic systems are equipped with cameras that magnify the organs being operated on. This offers surgeons far more precision than they would have with the naked eye. Among other advantages, this enables the absolute minimum amount of tissue to be removed.
Overall, the magnification available with robotic procedures reduces the margin for error and allows surgeons to not only work more precisely, but more quickly. Surgeries take less time than before and have less impact on the patient, leading to reduced recovery time.
Reduced Chance of Infection
The larger the incision is the more surface area it has that can be infected. Since robotic tools are much smaller, both internal and external incisions are minimized. These reduced incisions heal faster, as well. In essence, there is both a smaller area to become infected and less time for an infection to set up.
More Effective, Less Invasive
The da Vinci robotic system allows surgeons — including our own Dr. Agrios — to perform procedures with greater success and vastly reduced risks to the patient. Recovery is faster and scarring is lessened, meaning necessary surgeries no longer have to have the same unnecessary impact on patients’ lives.