Da Vinci Surgery
Minimally Invasive Surgery Using Robotic Technology

Hysterectomies


picture of da vinci surgeon

Da Vinci Surgery

Contents

What Is Da Vinci Surgery?
How Is Da Vinci Surgery Performed?
How Safe It Is?
Is It Different To Laparoscopic Surgery?
What Are The Disadvantages Of Da Vinci?
Is It FDA Approved?
What Is A Da Vinci Hysterectomy?
How Do I Find A Da Vinci Surgeon?


What Is Da Vinci Surgery?

It is a minimally invasive surgery performed using special robotic surgical equipment. Minimally invasive means fewer or smaller cuts in the body are required for the surgeon to treat your internal condition. Da Vinci® is the trade name of the equipment used for this type of surgery, it is produced by a Californian company called Intuitive Surgical, Inc. Da Vinci surgery can be used for all sorts of operations, including:-

Bladder cancer
Colorectal cancer
Coronary heart disease (CHD)
Endometriosis
Cervical cancer
Endometrial cancer
Ovarian cancer
Kidney disorders
Kidney cancer
Mitral valve prolapse
Obesity (gastric bypass)
Throat cancer
Heavy uterine bleeding
Uterine fibroids
Uterine prolapse

The benefits of da Vinci surgery over conventional surgery include:-

Less pain and discomfort.
Fewer complications after surgery.
Less blood loss during surgery.
Reduces the average hospital stay by half.
Lower risk of wound infection.

Note: Currently about 2,500 da Vinci medical systems are installed in 1,900 hospitals worldwide. The system is named after Leonardo da Vinci, the famous 15th century artist and inventor known for his advanced study of human anatomy.

How Is Da Vinci Surgery Performed?


The surgeon moves his tools and this movement is
reflected by the robot 'operating' on the patient.

A da Vinci surgery is performed by robotic assistance. A robotic device performs the actual surgery, controlled by the surgeon who sits at a nearby console. The console translates the surgeon's hand movements into smaller more precise movements in the patient's body. This allows for the use of smaller surgical instruments which could not ordinarily be reliably used by human hand. While sitting at the console, the surgeon has a magnified 3D image of the inside of your body. He operates by moving master controls, rather like forceps, which translate into real-time movements in the patient.

How Safe It Is?

The surgery is as safe as traditional surgery. The system cannot be programmed, nor can it make its own decisions. Every surgical maneuver needs to be first inputted by the surgeon. At all times the patient has a surgical assistant next to them, watching the surgery and switching instruments when the surgeon requires. As the surgeon can operate while sitting down, they are less likely to become tired and make mistakes.

Is It Different To Laparoscopic Surgery?

Yes, it is different. While laparoscopy is also a minimally invasive procedure, it is still performed in the traditional manner by the surgeons own hand. It involves making small incisions and inserting a video and tools through the incisions to carry out surgery. Due to the limitation of laparoscopic rigid instruments, laparoscopy has been limited to a few routine procedures.

What Are The Disadvantages Of Da Vinci?

If it's so great, why don't more hospitals offer da Vinci? Two reasons: steep learning curve and cost. Although Intuitive Surgical provide a training program, it takes surgeons on average 12 to 18 patients before they are comfortable performing with the new system. Furthermore, many feel hindered by not being able to handle real tissue (tactile sensation) during an operation. However, one of the main barriers cited by surgeries is cost. The system costs about $1.5 million and a paper published in the American Journal of Surgery reported that 75 percent of surgeons felt financially limited by paying more than $500,000 for any system.

Is It FDA Approved?

Yes, the da Vinci system was first approved by the FDA in July 2000. It is now approved:

As an alternative to general laparoscopic surgical procedures, including for example bowel resection, splenectomy and mouth and oral cavity resections.

As an alternative to all gynecologic laparoscopic surgical procedures. It has been successfully used in hysterectomy, myomectomy and sacrocolpopexy operations.

For transoral otolaryngology surgical procedures (although use is restricted to benign and cancerous T1 and T2 tumors).

General thoracoscopic surgical procedures.

Thoracoscopically assisted cardiotomy procedures.

What Is A Da Vinci Hysterectomy?

It is a hysterectomy performed using the da Vinci system. A hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the womb (uterus). In the past the procedure required a large abdominal incision which took weeks, sometimes months to heal. With da Vinci surgery, using robotic equipment, only a few tiny incisions are required so the patient can return to normal life much faster.

How Do I Find A Da Vinci Surgeon?

Website: davincihysterectomy.com
This website provides a list of surgeons by location and surgical specialty. The specialties are: cardiac, colorectal, general, gynecologic, thoracic, urologic and head and neck.

  Related Articles on Surgery

For more information, see the following:

Hospital departments explained: Find your way around hospitals.
• Doctors qualifications: What all those letters mean.

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