» Robotic Surgery

Robotic Surgery

One of the most significant advances in surgical technique over the past two decades came with the advent of robotic surgery. To clarify any confusion, the procedure is not performed autonomously by a robot. Rather the surgeon is assisted by robotic technology that improves visualization of the abdomen, dexterity within the abdomen and precision.

The robot consists of up to 4 arms placed over the patient immediately prior to surgery. These arms are controlled by a surgeon sitting at a console to the side of the operating table.

New Robotic Program

Of note, Mr Ahmed Ahmed and Bupa Cromwell Hospital in London recently launched a comprehensive robotic surgical program to combine the benefits of open surgery with the qualities of laparoscopic or minimally invasive surgery.

Additional Information

Much like traditional laparoscopic surgery, robotic surgical technique only requires 4 to 5 small incisions in the abdomen. This reduces the likelihood of infection and incisional hernia, while shortening hospital stays and minimising post-operative pain and blood loss. These small incisions also offer better cosmetic results.

The instruments are wristed, allowing for 360° motion within the abdomen. This offers the dexterity of open surgery with the lower risk profile of laparoscopic surgery. In the hands of a skilled, trained robotic surgeon, the unique qualities of robotic surgery can allow for complex procedures to be performed in a minimally invasive manner when it was formerly impossible to do so.

The surgeon is fully immersed in the surgical field thanks to a three-dimensional view of the abdomen provided by the dual robotic camera. This visualization cannot be matched by the two-dimensional view from traditional laparoscopes.

One of the limitations of traditional laparoscopy is the difficulty in performing intricate or complex procedures. Laparoscopic tools are long and have a smaller range of motion. Conversely, the robotic arms are able to access parts of the abdomen that would be out of reach with traditional laparoscopic tools.

Unlike manual laparoscopic medical devices, the robotic arms interpret and scale the surgeon’s movements to improve precision.

The surgeon controls the robotic arms with both their hands and feet. This allows for the use of three robotic arms while traditional laparoscopy only allows the use of two at a time. Typically, during laparoscopic surgery a surgical assistant is required to operate one or more of the laparoscopic tools.

Ergonomics during surgery are similarly important and the surgeon is comfortably seated at a console next to the operating table. They can, therefore, perform more surgeries without experiencing the same fatigue as traditional laparoscopic surgery.