Frequently Asked Questions
What is Robotic Surgery?
Robotic surgery is an innovative and modern technique to perform minimally-invasive surgery using electronic and computerized instruments, as well a superior and magnified 3D vision system.
Is the Robot doing surgery autonomously?
No it is not! Robot is a misleading word. It is the surgeon who is performing the surgical procedure using the Robot’s electronic tools. The Robot is a kind of master-command system (tele manipulator) that reproduces the movements of the surgeon’s hands.
Is the surgeon far away from the patient?
The surgeon is in the operative room and very close to the patient, as well as the rest of the surgical team who are located at the patient’s bed side.
Are Da Vinci surgery and Robotic surgery synonymous?
Yes they are! So far, The Da Vinci robotic system is the only system approved for clinical use.
Is the Robot a safe machine?
Yes it is! It is very rare to encounter any major mechanical or electronic malfunctions of the robotic system. If a system malfunction should occur, there is no risk for the patient. The robotic operation can be finished and converted to the traditional approach (laparoscopic or open).
Are complications more or less frequent in Robotic surgery?
In more than a million procedures utilizing the Robot it has been widely demonstrated that the robotic approach is not specifically connected to any increased risk of complications when the surgeon is well trained using the robotic system. Lack of experience and improper training are the main reasons for surgical injuries attributed to the Robot.
What are the benefits of minimally-invasive surgery?
The minimally invasive approach is usually associated with the following benefits: less postoperative pain, less scaring, less blood loss, faster recovery, better convalescence and a faster return to normal life and daily routines.
What are the benefits and advantages of Robotic Surgery?
With the proper utilization of the robotic technology, more complex procedures can be feasible in a minimally invasive fashion. Examples of these complex procedures include: Resections of the pancreas, liver, lung, esophagus and rectum.
What does "conversion to open" mean?
A robotic procedure can be converted to the traditional open surgical approach at any time. Reasons for the conversion can be anatomical complexities, adhesions created from previous surgical procedures and bleeding. The conversion rate is proportional to the difficulty of the procedure, as well as the inexperience of the surgeon. Conversion, by itself, is not a complication, but rather a different approach to successfully complete an operation.
How can an expert robotic surgeon be recognized?
Many institutions, before granting a surgeon with “robotic privileges”, will verify the competence of the surgeon using this system. There are also Centers of Excellence in Robotic Surgery (accredited by SRS and scientific associations like the Clinical Robotic Surgery Association [CRSA]). Another good way to recognize an expert robotic surgeon is by asking for their personal experience with the Robot (number of cases, conversion rate, outcomes, etc.).