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What is Robotic Surgery?

In recent years, innovations in tiny surgical instruments have led to laparoscopic surgery, a minimally invasive technique that keeps incisions small and speeds recovery time. But technological advancements like Erlanger’s da Vinci “S” surgical system take minimally invasive procedures one step further, dramatically reducing hospitalization and recovery times.

How it works

The da Vinci system allows the physician to operate through small, dime-sized abdominal incisions and direct robotic "arms" to perform the surgery with a variety of tiny surgical instruments. Seated at a console, the physician views the surgical area through a tiny, endoscopic camera that reveals three-dimensional images magnified 14 times greater than what the human eye can see. The controls at the console allow the physician to move the robotic “hands” with precision, eliminating the natural tremor of even the steadiest of human hands.

  See it in action. Watch this video.

This “hands-off” approach has several advantages, including:

  • A better view. Cameras used in normal endoscopic surgery provide two-dimensional images. The da Vinci system provides 3-D images that can be magnified many times.
  • A steadier grip. Surgeons have steady hands, but their fine motor conorl over surgical instruments is even steadier when they use robotic technology. This is a great advantage when operating in small, tight areas.
  • A smaller size. Robotic surgical instruments are smaller than the already small instruments used in normal endoscopic surgery.
  • A quicker recovery. Robotic surgery reduces pain and trauma to the body, allowing people to recover more quickly and return to their normal activities faster than with traditional surgery.