What is Robotic Surgery?

Robotic surgery is an innovative and modern technique to perform minimally invasive surgery using electronic and computerized instruments, as well as a superior and magnified 3D vision system.

Is the Robot doing surgery autonomously?

No, it isn't. Robot is a misleading word. It's the surgeon who is performing the surgical procedure using the robot’s electronic tools. The robot is a master-command system (tele-manipulator) that reproduces surgeon's hand movements.

Is the surgeon far away from the patient?

The surgeon is in the operative room, located very close to the patient. The surgical team is also at the patient's bedside while the surgery is being performed.

Are Da Vinci surgery and Robotic surgery synonymous?

Yes. So far, The Da Vinci robotic system is the only system approved for clinical use.

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 the successful completion of the operation.

Is the Robot a safe machine?

Yes. It is extremely 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 converted to the traditional approach (laparoscopic or open) and finished.

Are complications more or less frequent in Robotic surgery?

In more than a million procedures utilizing the robot, the majority have demonstrated that the robotic approach is not specifically connected to any increased risk of complications, especially 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 robotic surgical procedures.

What are the benefits of minimally invasive surgery?

The minimally invasive approach is usually associated with the following benefits: less postoperative pain, decreased 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 and less risky fashion. Examples of these complex procedures include: removal of the pancreas, liver, lung, esophagus and rectum.

How can an expert robotic surgeon be recognized?

Most institutions, before granting a surgeon with robotic privileges, will verify the competence of the surgeon . 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.).