An Introduction to Robotically-Assisted Surgery

Robotically-Assisted Surgery
Robotically-Assisted Surgery

When the introduction of robotic surgery in 2000, following FDA approval for the da Vinci Surgical System, many imagined a medical future in which robots could replace surgeons during surgery. However, replacing surgeons’ expertise in the hands wasn’t the goal at the time of the introduction of robotically-assisted systems in 2000. Nor is it the intention two decades later, in 2022.

The primary goal of surgical procedures using robotics is to aid doctors in treating many different ailments. A typical surgical robot for medical use has an arm camera and mechanical arm with surgical instruments attached. The surgeon operates the arms via a computer console located close to the table for surgery. The console provides the surgeon with a an increased, high-definition, 3-D image of the surgical area and can give greater agility and precision.

It’s crucial to understand that the robot doesn’t do the operation. It is the surgeon who has charge of all movements of tiny instruments attached to the arms of the robot. The medical team is in attendance to help during the procedure exactly as they would in more traditional surgery.

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Robotically-Assisted Surgery Advantages

The concept of robotically assisted surgery was created to improve the way surgeons can carry out certain kinds of minimally-invasive procedures which are done with tiny incisions, rather than more extensive or “open” operations.

In some instances, robotically-assisted surgery permits the surgeon to make fewer and smaller incisions and also to reach more easily difficult-to-access parts of the body, including the following:

  • Esophagus
  • Gallbladder
  • Stomach
  • Small intestinal tract
  • Colon

Many of the modern robotically-assisted surgical instruments are specifically designed to offer “force feedback”–which aids surgical surgeons “feel” how stiff the tissue robot arms are grasping, and “eye-tracking,” which helps the surgeon determine the direction and speed at which the tools of surgery move.

In some instances, where an operation would have been difficult to complete through open or conventional techniques, robotic aid assists surgeons in performing complex or delicate procedures using minimally-invasive surgery.

The benefits that can be gained from these minimally invasive procedures are:

  • Less noticeable, smaller incisions and scars
  • There are fewer complications, like infections at the surgical site
  • Reduced blood loss and pain
  • More rapid recovery times

What are Risks Of Robotically-Assisted Surgery

As with all types of surgery, robotically assisted procedures carry different levels of risk. Certain risks are comparable to those associated with conventional open surgeries for example, a slight chance of infection. Based on the purpose and risks of a particular procedure, a robotically assisted surgery that takes a longer period of time could mean the patient will also be in anesthesia for more often, which may pose risks.

While it’s not an alternative for everybody, the purpose of using robotically assisted procedures in cases where they’re a feasible alternative is to provide an improved and safer surgery environment that is safe for both patients as well as the surgeons.

Every surgeon at Evansville Surgical Associates are certified by the American Board of Surgery, and a majority of them are certified as subspecialists and have training in surgical vascular as well as trauma and critical care, as well as minimally-invasive surgery.

Every surgeon we employ has the most up-to-date knowledge of the advantages and dangers of robotic surgery, and how it compares to other procedures, such as other techniques of minimally-invasive surgery as well as traditional open surgery. Your surgeon will be able to discuss your options in a surgical procedure with you in order to determine the best option for you.

Other Advantages of Robotic Surgery

Robotic surgery has many advantages for patients as compared to open surgery, such as:

  • Hospitalizations that are shorter
  • The reduction in discomfort and pain
  • Speedier recovery time and quicker returning to normal activities
  • Incisions that are smaller, which means lower possibility of infection
  • Transfusions and reduced blood loss
  • Scarring is minimal


Robotic surgery is a sophisticated method of minimally invasive laparoscopic (small incision) surgery in which surgeons utilize an automated robot that assists them during certain surgical procedures. Robot’s “hands” are equipped with a great level of dexterity, giving surgeons to work in small spaces inside the body that could only be accessible by an open (long opening) surgery.

Comparatively with open surgeries (traditional surgical procedures that involve incisions) robotic laparoscopic surgery procedures result with smaller incisions, resulting in less scarring and pain.
Surgery performed by robotics allows doctors to complete complicated surgical procedures through small cuts using robotic technology. The surgical robots are self-powered and computer-controlled machines that can be programmed to assist with the placement and manipulation and manipulation of instruments used in surgery. They provide surgeons with greater precision, flexibility and control.

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