Da Vinci’s robot benefits
The da Vinci robot is currently the most advanced surgical robot designed to perform many types of interventions (urologic surgery, gynecological, laparoscopic, etc.). The da Vinci robot consists of four multi-articulated arms which handles various instruments (scalpel, scissors, camera etc.) and a console. Despite its appearance, the da Vinci robot is designed to perform operations with a lot of finesse. Robotic surgery is a minimally invasive surgery (such as laparoscopic surgery), that uses tiny incisions to perform: hysterectomy, prostatectomy, cholecystectomies, Nissen fundoplication etc. Because of small incisions, postoperative recovery time is reduced and the risk of developing complications is also very low.
The da Vinci robot is designed so as to provide a high-resolution image, which greatly enhances visibility and increases the accuracy with which the maneuvers are performed. Also, the surgeon hand movements are translated into precise surgical movements. Therefore, the da Vinci robot may be used in a series of surgeries that require great care and delicacy: thoracic surgery, gynecological surgery, cardiac surgery.
Mount Nittany Physician Group surgeon Dr. Shreya Patel, from Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, said the da Vinci robot brings a tremendous improvement in terms of patient recovery. She said that it is amazing how quickly patients operated by robotic surgery recover (they can return home within in 24 hours).
Robotic surgery is an advanced technique, but it does not involve pre-programmed operations and does not replace the surgeon. When using the da Vinci robot, the surgeon makes incisions himself and controls the movements with the console. It should be noted that the da Vinci robot can not operate on its own and any movement is controlled by the surgeon.
Dr. Gerald Harkins, medical director of the minimally invasive gynecologic surgery schedule at Penn State Hershey Medical Center,who began working with the da Vinci robot in 2010, said that at first they were very selective when it came to operate a patient with the da Vinci system. Since 2010, however, Hershey Medical Center’s Obstetrics and Gynecology Department, the majority of interventions in this department have been conducted with the da Vinci robot.
Harkins believes that one of the biggest advantages of robotic surgery is that it decreases the number of patients that need invasive surgery (open surgery). “The robot opens the doors for us to work with patients with more complicated illnesses, such as severe endometriosis and cancer,” Harkins explained. “This has resulted in our department performing no open surgeries at all.”