The da Vinci Robot: The Art of Surgery
The da Vinci robot is the cutting-edge of medical technology, offering smaller incisions, fewer complications, and faster recovery times.
A surgeon controls a robot as he operates on a patient. It sounds like science fiction, but the da Vinci robot is real, and it’s helping to significantly reduce wound size and recovery time.
Surgery has greatly evolved over the past few decades. First, there was open surgery, where a surgeon makes one large incision and uses his or her own hands to guide the surgery. Then came laparoscopic surgery, where a surgeon makes a few smaller incisions and inserts surgical instruments guided by a tiny telescope attached to a camera. This technique is less invasive than open surgery, and can lead to less pain for the patient and a faster recovery time. But with these benefits came a higher learning curve for physicians to learn this type of technique.
Enter the da Vinci system. Incision sizes are still smaller than with open surgery, and doctors can become proficient in the technique faster than with laparoscopic surgery. The surgeon controls the robotic hands that can bend and twist in ways that human hands can’t, which means their movements and techniques can be even more precise. Magnified 3D images on a screen show what the robotic hands are doing so the surgeons have a better view than with laparoscopic cameras. This gives them a degree of control over the surgery that has never been possible before.
For patients, this new system means reduced scarring, less pain, lower risk of infection, decreased blood loss, and faster recovery times. In the past, a surgery for prostate cancer could lead to a full week of recovery in the hospital. Now with the da Vinci robot, at least half of patients go home the very next day.
Read more about the da Vinci robot in the Herald & Review.
Click here to see more ways hospitals are speeding up their patients’ recovery after surgery.
Scott Witt, MD
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