Robotic Sciences

1. What is Robotic Surgery?

As the name suggests, the surgery is conducted by a robot yet sternly commanded and monitored by the surgeon himself while it smoothly inserts the surgical tools that’s connected to its arms into the patient’s body with all perfection. The technique adopted here is similar to a Laparoscopic procedure which only was brought into practice since recently. The robotic surgery, with a robotic platform like Da Vinci not only adheres to the procedural time and accuracy but also is beneficial to the patient in many ways.

2. What is minimally Invasive Robotic Surgery?

Robotic Surgery is a minimally invasive successor for open surgeries as well as laparoscopic procedures which can be adopted for both major and minor surgeries.

3. What are the benefits of the Robotic Surgery?

For Doctors:

  • Helps to operate from a comfortable position
  • Decreases fatigue while dealing with lengthy procedures
  • Magnifies the object several times
  • Provides a three dimensional view
  • Offers the ability to move swiftly

For Patients:

  • For lesser blood loss as incision is very small
  • Quick healing of incision/wounds
  • Lesser scope for infections and secondary complications
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Faster return to normal activities
4. Does the robot perform surgery by itself?

No.The Robot doesn’t perform the surgery by itself. It acts on the commands given by the surgeon. There is an anaesthetist who induces anaesthesia and monitor’s the functions of heart and lungs. An assistant uses the tools from the ports of the robotic arms to perform suction and sutures. A scrub technician helps in changing the tools and makes the required adjustments in the robotic arms. The surgeon controls the entire equipment namely the camera and the tools from his console and conducts the surgery feasibly.

5. Will the Da Vinci Surgical System make the surgeon unnecessary?

The Da Vinci Surgical System performs a minimally invasive procedure under the control of the surgeon abiding his commands and mocking his moves. It, in fact demands more attention from the surgeon than usual as he is not only giving instructions to the robot but also performing it himself only through the robotic hands. The robot otherwise is not programmed to conduct any particular procedure instead it only acts on the instructions given by the surgeon. Therefore, the role of the robot is to take instructions and act accordingly. It’s important to note that it shall not replace a surgeon at any point of time during the procedure.

6. Is everyone a candidate for robotic surgery?

At the discretion of the doctor.

7. What if there is a technical problem with the robot?

In case of a technical failure, the surgeon will choose an alternative procedure without wasting time. The medical team is aware and are prepared for such an emergency.

8. Has the Da Vinci System cleared by the F.D.A?

The U.S Food and Drug Administration has pronounced that the robotic procedure can be used for surgeries related to Urology, Gynaecology; Heart, lungs and Pleural cavities while for the head and the neck only the tumours that are categorised as T1 and T2 can be treated apart from the general laparoscopic procedures.The same procedure is still not approved to treat paediatric related ailments on head and neck.

9. What happens before the surgery?

You may be advised to go for certain tests to ensure if there is any other concerns or issues. Since the procedure doesn’t involve big incisions there is very negligible amount of blood loss and as such there is nothing to worry.

10. What happens during the procedure?

There is a well-equipped team monitoring the procedure while the robotic surgeon is controlling the Da Vinci surgical system from his console. The patient is closely observed by the inmates and they ensure that the needs of the treatment are taken care of as per the roles and duties assigned to them.

11. What happens after the surgery?

Robotic surgery assures faster recovery when compared to open surgeries.

12. Is Robotic surgery covered by insurance?

Yes. The insurance does cover any procedure that falls under the category of “Robotic Minimally Invasive Surgery” while the benefits in the package might vary.

13. What are the risks of robotic surgery?

Like any other procedure, Robotic surgery is also prone to risks and certain short ailments. The risks are similar to that of a Laparoscopic surgery. The doctor will talk to you about what best suits you. Some of the risks include –

  • A possible hernia in the site when single incisions are made
  • Duration of the procedure may increase
  • Patient may have to stay under anesthesia for a longer time
  • Sometimes one may have to undergo more than one or larger incisions
  • Conversion of the procedure to another technique in a dire emergency
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