The da Vinci robot is a surgical system that aids in performing advanced and complex laparoscopic surgery. The da Vinci has revolutionized urologic surgery and has now begun to make inroads into gynecology. The robot can be utilized for a variety of gynecologic procedures but it is most commonly used for difficult hysterectomies, myomectomies, and difficult laparoscopies. It has several characteristics that make it a good alternative to “open surgery” (surgeries requiring a large abdominal incision) for many patients. These qualities include:
It provides significantly more range of motion than traditional laparoscopic surgery. The robot provides articulation similar to a human wrist. This is a significant advance improvement over traditional laparoscopic instruments that have no articulation at all. This allows the surgeon to easily perform maneuvers, such as suturing, that were previously difficult to perform laparoscopically.
The robot provides the surgeon with depth perception. In traditional laparoscopic surgery the physician operates while watching their instruments on a TV. During robotic surgery the physician operates while viewing the surgery through a special view finder that provides a 3 dimensional view of the patient.
The robot provides scales of movement. The first advantage of this is that it eliminates any hand tremor that a surgeon has. All humans have some degree of tremor ranging from barely perceptible to extremely shaky. How important that is in surgery depends on the delicacy of the procedure. The robot eliminates all tremor. The second advantage is that the robot gives the operator the opportunity to dramatically scale down their movements. This means that very large movements at the robot’s controls result in small operative movements. Again this aids in very fine dissections and delicate surgeries.
If you are considering a surgery, especially a surgery requiring a laparotomy (large abdominal incision), ask your provider if the da Vinci might be a good option for you.
For more information on the da Vinci procedures, click here.