Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine.
Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Robotic Surgery

Robotic Surgery

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The Methodist Center for Restorative Pelvic Medicine
6550 Fannin Street
Houston, TX 77030
713-441-9229
713-791-5023 fax
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The field of minimally invasive, robotic-assisted surgery includes use of the daVinci® surgical system. During the surgery, the surgeon sits at the main console next to the patient. The surgeon’s hand movements are transmitted through a computer from the console to the robotic arms in the patient. The surgeon is assisted by an experienced physician at the patient’s side as well. Robotic surgery requires general anesthesia.

Why the Procedure Is Performed

Robotic surgery is a type of procedure that is similar to laparoscopic surgery. Robotic surgery allows surgeons to accomplish more challenging surgeries that are not possible with traditional laparoscopy. The small, precise movements that are possible with this type of surgery give it some advantages over standard endoscopic techniques. Robotic surgery  can be performed through smaller surgical incisions than traditional open surgery. Sometimes robotic-assisted laparoscopy can allow a surgeon to perform a less-invasive procedure that was once only possible with more invasive open surgery. Once it is placed in the abdomen, a robotic arm is easier for the surgeon to use than the instruments in endoscopic surgery.

The robot reduces the surgeon's movements (for example, moving a half inch for every one inch the surgeon moves), which reduces some of the hand tremors and movements that might otherwise make the surgery less precise. Also, robotic instruments can access hard-to-reach areas of your body more easily through smaller surgical cuts compared to traditional open and laparoscopic surgery.

During robotic surgery, the surgeon can more easily see the operative area. The surgeon is also in a much more comfortable position and can move in a more natural way than during endoscopy.

Robotic surgery may be used for a number of different procedures, including:

  • Cutting away cancer tissue from sensitive parts of the body such as blood vessels, nerves or important body organs
  • Hysterectomy
  • Kidney removal
  • Kidney transplant
  • Radical prostatectomy
  • Tubal ligation
  • Some pelvic floor and prolapse problems
  • Endometriosis surgical removal
  • Removal of the ovaries and tubes

Robotic surgery cannot be used for some complex procedures. For example, it is not appropriate for certain types of heart surgeries that require greater ability to move instruments in the patient's chest. Robotic surgery may have fewer risks than open and laparoscopic surgery.

Due to the more refined surgical movements, improved visualization and use of small incisions, robotic surgery has the following advantages:

  • Faster recovery
  • Less pain and bleeding
  • Less risk of infection
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Smaller scars
  • Improved outcomes and better surgical result