Robotic surgery has completely revolutionized the way we perform surgery. Instead of "straight-stick" laparoscopic instruments, the robotic platform offers articulating instruments which mimic real life hand movements, except way more precise. This platform has allowed us to extend minimally invasive surgery to more patients than ever before, including patients with previous surgeries and those who were refused surgery for being overweight.
With robotic surgery, instead of operating on patients through large incisions, we use miniaturized surgical instruments that fit through a series of quarter-inch incisions. When performing surgery with the da Vinci Xi, the world's most advanced surgical robot, these miniaturized instruments are mounted on three separate robotic arms, allowing the surgeon maximum range of motion and precision. The da Vinci's fourth arm contains a magnified high-definition 3-D camera that guides the surgeon during the procedure.
The surgeon controls these instruments and the camera from a console located in the operating room. Placing his fingers into the master controls, they are able to operate all four arms of the da Vinci simultaneously while looking through a stereoscopic high-definition monitor that literally places him inside the patient, giving him a better, more detailed 3-D view of the operating site than the human eye can provide. Every movement they make with the master controls is replicated precisely by the robot. When necessary, the surgeon can even change the scale of the robot's movements.
The ultimate effect is to give the surgeon unprecedented control in a minimally invasive environment. As Dr. Dupree sometimes notes, "It's as if I've miniaturized my body and gone inside the patient." Utilizing this advanced technology, our surgeons are able to perform a growing number of complex surgical procedures. Since these procedures can now be performed through very small incisions, our patients experience a number of benefits compared to open surgery, including: