One of the biggest advancements in “minimally invasive surgery” has been the introduction of robotic assisted surgery. Surgical robotic technology was pioneered by Intuitive Surgical, maker of the da Vinci® Surgical System. It uses a robotic arm system to perform high-precision surgical tasks. In urology, it’s mainly used to perform prostate removals (prostatectomies), repair of obstructed kidneys (ureteropelvic junction obstructions), and partial or total kidney removals (nephrectomies).
Robotic assisted surgery has many advantages over traditional open surgery. It allows for precise movements with 10X magnifications and 3-dimensional vision. It is designed to operate on the affected area with minimal damage to nerves and surrounding structures. Complications after this type of surgery tend to be lower than with traditional procedures. Additionally, this type of surgery typically results in less scarring, less blood loss, shorter hospital stays and quicker return to normal daily activities.
The da Vinci® Surgical System allows for very precise maneuvers through the high "degrees of freedom" of its four robotic arms — meaning pinpoint movements and high dexterity. Five or six small incisions are used to place the robotic instruments in the abdomen. The surgeon sits at a nearby console and controls the robot system to perform the delicate surgery.
Texas Urology Specialists uses the da Vinci® Surgical System to perform prostatectomies, pyeloplasties and to do partial and total nephrectomies. It has been incorporated into our practice for more than five years.