Frequently Asked Questions

Institutes & Services > Robotic Surgery

What is robotic surgery?

Robotic surgery is a method of surgery based on minimally invasive or laparoscopic surgery. It addresses the limitations of minimally invasive surgery and improves surgical execution and patient outcomes. By dramatically enhancing visualization, precision, control and dexterity, robotic technology overcomes the limitations of traditional minimally invasive or laparoscopic surgery technology, helping physicians to perform complex surgery in a manner never before experienced.

What is the name of the equipment used in robotic surgeries?

Surgeons at TriHealth hospitals utilize the da Vinci® Surgical System for robotic-assisted procedures. Made by Intuitive Surgical, Inc., the da Vinci® Surgical System provides physicians with such enhanced detail and precision that they can simulate an open surgical environment while operating through tiny incisions.

Does a robot actually perform the operation?

No, the da Vinci Surgical System cannot be programmed or make decisions on its own. There is always a surgeon present in the operating suite who controls all the movements of the robotic system.

What are the benefits for surgeons who perform robotic-assisted surgery?

Some of the major benefits experienced by surgeons using robotic surgery over traditional open or laparoscopic approaches have been greater surgical precision, increased range of motion, improved dexterity, enhanced visualization and improved access.

Will robotic surgery make surgeons unnecessary?

No. Robotic surgery enables surgeons to be more precise, advancing their technique and enhancing their capability in performing complex minimally invasive surgery. The da Vinci® Surgical System replicates the surgeon’s movements in real time and cannot function without the surgeon’s input.

How does the surgeon control the da Vinci® Surgical System?

The surgeon operates while seated at a console and sees true-to-life, yet 10-times magnified, three-dimensional images of the operative field. The surgeon’s fingers grasp the master controls below the display, with hands and wrists naturally positioned relative to his or her eyes. The surgeon’s commands are carried out via the patient-side cart, where four robotic arms and specially designed instruments translate the surgeon’s hand, wrist and finger movements into real-time movements inside the patient, but with more dexterity than human hands are able.

What happens if there is a complication during a robotic-assisted surgery?

Though chances of this occurring are slim, if the robotic system mechanically fails during surgery or the procedure becomes too difficult to perform robotically, surgeons can easily transition to and complete the procedure with either conventional laparoscopic or open surgery.

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