Robotic-assisted surgery, such as cholecystectomy, offers a minimally invasive approach to various laparoscopic procedures and is often done on outpatients. These surgeries are performed using half-inch incisions where your surgeon inserts a laparoscope (illuminated camera) and surgical instruments. The laparoscope is then used to view the abdominal and pelvic areas to conduct surgery.
In conventional laparoscopic surgery, your surgeon holds the tools and inserts them directly through the openings. The instruments are movable in different directions and may be used to grasp, cut, and suture tissues. In robotic-assisted surgery, similar skin incisions are made, but the tools are held in position by “robotic arms.” Your surgeon operates the robotic devices from a control center or console with 3-dimensional visualization through the laparoscope lens. This allows more detailed visualization, higher precision for more complex procedures, and shorter recovery time.
Advantages of Robotic Surgery over Traditional Laparoscopy
Compared to conventional laparoscopic surgery, robotic-assisted surgery offers more benefits. For one, the console utilizes high-definition cameras to improve your surgeon’s vision within the abdominal and pelvic area. Additionally, the surgeon’s depth awareness is enhanced as the image produced is three-dimensional, unlike two-dimensional with conventional laparoscopy.
When performing robotic-assisted surgery, your surgeon has more control over the tools than in conventional laparoscopy since the devices can traverse a wider movement range, allowing maximum maneuverability. This enhanced control enables the surgeon to make more accurate motions, accelerate or decelerate hand movements, and execute highly precise suturing (sewing) and knot-tying.
Advantages over Laparotomy (Open Incision)
Robotic-assisted surgery is a significantly less invasive option than the traditional open incision procedure known as laparotomy. In robotic surgery, the cuts are very small, and the healing takes an average of just two to four weeks, in contrast to the six to eight weeks required for laparotomy. During robot-assisted surgery, your surgeon can access a three-dimensional high-definition camera that provides a clearer view of the operating area and enables greater magnification.
Surgical Procedures Often Performed by Robotic Surgery
The following procedures may be conducted using robotic surgery:
Myomectomy (removal of fibroids)
– Unlike hysterectomy, myomectomy removes your fibroids and reconstructs your uterine wall. Since this operation leaves your uterus intact, childbirth is deemed generally safe. Another fact about The da Vinci method offers a broader range of movement and precise suturing. Better suturing and knot-tying techniques enable the excision of tiny or big fibroids that would have previously necessitated a laparotomy.
Hysterectomy (removal of the uterus)
– This surgery helps treat various conditions, including adenomyosis, endometriosis, or fibroids. Given that the da Vinci system requires only 1-2cm incisions, it is considerably far less invasive than traditional open surgery – offering shorter recovery, less scarring, and minimal chances of complication.
– This surgery treats urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse, which often coexist. With sacrocolpopexy via the da Vinci system, you’re offered lower complication rates, higher success rates, and shorter operation time, resulting in decreased blood loss.
Is Robotic Assisted Surgery Suitable for All Patients?
Undoubtedly, a variety of pelvic surgeries can be successfully performed minimally invasively with robotic-assisted surgery. While robotic-assisted surgery offers numerous benefits, your specialist can best evaluate whether or not robotic surgery is the best option for you. Your OBGYN will review your record and determine the best route for you based on the procedure performed, your surgical history, your condition that requires treatment, your pelvis shape, and more. Contact our women’s health experts at Atlanta Obstetrics & Gynecology Specialists to ensure the most comprehensive care.
What to Expect After Being Discharged from the Hospital?
You will get instructions on optimal post-operative care unique to your operation. In most cases, they consist of:
- Resting up over the next few days, or for as long as your surgeon determines.
- Gradually, getting back to performing your everyday activities. You’re free to start driving usually within 2 weeks, as long as you’re not using any prescription pain medication.
- Refraining from lifting large objects until you have followed up with your physician.
- Keep an eye out for any infection at your incision sites.
At Atlanta Obstetrics & Gynecology Specialists, our OBGYNs provide clear and personalized post-operative instructions to ensure a safe and speedy recovery.
When is the appropriate time for me to get in touch with my Ob-Gyn physician after a robotic-assisted surgery?
Your treatment should consist of follow-up visits to monitor your progress. Get in touch with your healthcare professional as soon as possible if you encounter any of the following:
- Blood-soaked bandages may indicate significant bleeding.
- Infections that manifest themselves with a fever or a yellowish discharge from the incision.
- Persistent pain for which conventional medical treatment is ineffective.
- Symptoms of blood clots, such as an abnormal bulge in the groin or lower leg area.
- Experiencing nausea and vomiting while also finding it difficult to keep fluids down.
At Atlanta Obstetrics & Gynecology Specialists, our advanced yet proven surgical methods and expertise allow significantly decreased chances of infections. However, we provide preventative measures that further minimize infection risks and ensure you’re educated about common infections associated with your surgery so you can take extra precautions.
What are some misconceptions that people have regarding robotic-assisted surgery?
Contrary to what some people might have assumed, a machine does not carry out the operation. The equipment used in robotic-assisted surgery cannot move on its own and requires surgeons to control the equipment.
Another common misconception is that open surgery is preferable because it provides the surgeon with a clear view of the affected region. In actuality, surgeons are allowed better vision with robotic-assisted surgery. The high-tech equipment is built with a high-resolution camera that offers real-time, enlarged, 3D images, allowing for a more precise operation.
At Atlanta Obstetrics & Gynecology Specialists, we offer numerous robotic-assisted surgery in Atlanta to treat various conditions. We are experts in women’s health, and our OBGYNs are more than qualified to perform complex procedures such as hysterectomy, myomectomy, ovarian cystectomy, and more. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation.