Urology medicine is traditionally an innovative, early adopter of advances in medical and surgical treatments. One of the biggest advancements in “minimally invasive surgery” is the introduction of robotic assistance in laparoscopic surgery.
Surgical robotic technology pioneered by Intuitive Surgical, maker of the da Vinci® Surgical System, uses a robotic arm system to perform high-precision surgical tasks. In urology, it is mainly used to perform prostate removals (prostatectomies), repair of obstructed kidneys (ureteropelvic junction obstructions), and partial or total kidney removals (nephrectomies).
Texas Urology Specialists’ minimally invasive surgeons are certified and have hundreds of hours of training and experience to perform laparoscopic procedures on the genitourinary system, including kidney, ureter, bladder, and prostate procedures for both cancer and non-malignant diseases.
Benefits of Robotic-Assisted Surgery
Robotic-assisted surgery has many advantages over traditional open surgery. It allows for precise movements with three-dimensional, high definition video with up to 10 times magnification of the operating area. The tools can be positioned into angles that are impossible for the human wrist, allowing urologists to operate in much smaller spaces than ever before, and enabling much smaller incisions.
This precision allows the affected area to be operated on with minimal damage to nerves and surrounding structures. This is especially true for surgery of the prostate and bladder, which are located in the pelvis behind the pubic bone and alongside important muscles, nerves, and blood vessels.
Benefits to patients are numerous and facilitate them returning to their normal life activities as soon as possible.
- Fewer complications
- Less scarring and blood loss
- Smaller incisions
- Shorter hospital stays
- Quicker return to work and normal daily activities
How it Works
Despite its name, robotic surgery is not automated with the push of a button. The surgeon is in control of all surgical movement and technique. The surgeon sits at a nearby console and controls the robotic system to perform the delicate surgery. 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.
In laparoscopic surgery, a camera and other surgical instruments can be inserted into the body via very small incisions that reduce recovery time and heal with minimal scarring. In many cases, five or six small incisions are used to place the robotic instruments in the abdomen.
Patients are often walking the same day and usually have only a one to two day hospital stay, much less than a typical three to five day stay with traditional open surgery.
Robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgery has significantly increased patient satisfaction, decreased surgical blood loss, shortened hospital stays and recovery time, while simultaneously achieving the same surgical outcomes as traditional surgery.