Surgeons with the Minimally Invasive General Surgery program sometimes turn to a sophisticated robotic operating device to perform certain minimally invasive procedures. The da Vinci robotic surgical platform is a device that can enable and sometimes enhance complicated laparoscopic procedures. Our surgeons have been using this innovative technology for as long as anyone else in the country - since shortly after the device was approved by the Food and Drug Administration for abdominal surgery in 2001. We are recognized as leaders in the field of robotic general surgery and have published our research regarding robotic procedures and technology in numerous surgical journals.
The surgical robotic device enhances the interaction between the surgeon, the surgical instruments, and the patient. Complex maneuvers not possible with either a traditional laparoscopic approach or with open techniques are easily accomplished with this technology. During robotic surgery, the surgeon is seated usually a few feet away from the operating table. The surgeon views the patient's anatomy through a screen that produces 3-D images in high resolution. The robot that operates on the patient is controlled by the surgeon who carefully maneuvers a pair of instrument controls. On the patient side, two robotic surgical arms are fitted with small 5 to 8 mm instruments and a small camera that can provide a detailed view of the patient. For an overview of the da Vinci surgical system, please check out the Intuitive Surgical website.