Ask the Experts

Robots Make Strides in Surgery

dr. michelle l. abisPranat Kumar MD, MPH, FACS
More about Dr. Kumar 

How do robotic instruments help make surgery less invasive?
Robotic surgery has allowed us to operate in a three-dimensional manner while using small instruments within the body. This is especially helpful in patients who cannot tolerate large incisions due to lung disease, heart problems, and underlying systemic disease. The robotic instruments are able to flex, rotate, and make fine movements that previously were impossible with older laparoscopic equipment. 

 

In what types of surgery can robotics be used?
Currently, robotic surgery is being used by general surgeons, colorectal surgeons, gynecologic surgeons, urologists, and cardiothoracic surgeons for procedures in the chest, abdomen, and pelvis. This technology has been used for both benign and malignant disease processes. Multiple research trials have shown that the application of this technology in the field of cancer surgery is as good and even better than traditional open surgery in some cases.

 

Are there risks with robotic surgery?
There are risks involved with every type of surgery. These risks are specific to the type of surgery being performed, the disease process, and the risks inherent to each individual patient. However, contrary to many beliefs, robotic surgery is completely under the control of the operating surgeon. In other words, the instruments that are being used to perform robotic surgery are always under the control of the surgeon and his/her assistant. 

 

What are the benefits of robotic surgery?
The benefits of robotic surgery can include smaller incisions, better visualization, less blood loss, and lower risks of infection. The benefits of robotic surgery are also noted after surgery and include shorter length of stay in the hospital, reduction in overall recovery time, and an expedited return to work or daily activities. Research also indicates that patients who undergo robotic surgery are able to start chemotherapy faster than those who undergo open surgery.

 

Are there other minimally invasive options?
There are other minimally invasive options for surgery and are specific to the type of surgery and disease. These techniques may include laparoscopy, endoscopy, arthroscopy, and percutaneous treatments. Please consult your surgeon and ask which option is best for you.


Vassar Brothers Medical Center
Health Quest Medical Practice
21 Reade Place, Suite 3100
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
845-214-1800
TTY /Accessibility: (800) 421-1220
www.healthquest.org/roboticsurgery


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