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Robotic Surgery

Robotic Surgery

Putting the surgeon’s hands at the controls of a state-of-the-art robotic platform, robotic-assisted surgery enables surgeons at VCU Medical Center to offer patients a minimally invasive option for complex and delicate surgical procedures.

For the patient, benefits may include significantly less pain, less blood loss and scaring, shorter recovery times, a faster return to normal activities and better clinical outcomes. The robotic surgery system allows the surgeon to perform highly intricate and delicate operations with greater precision, offering the most effective, least invasive surgical treatment option available.

How is robotic-assisted surgery different from open surgery?
In traditional laparoscopic surgery, surgeons operate with long non-wristed instruments (similar to chopsticks in each hand). This technique can be awkward and cumbersome, especially in small places. The robotic system provides dramatically better dexterity, control and precision.

In normal open surgery, long incisions (as large as 6-12 inches) are required to access the surgery site. With minimally-invasive robotic-assisted surgery, surgery is performed through dime sized (1/4 inch) incisions.

How exactly is robotic-assisted surgery performed?
  1. The surgeon makes small incisions into which he or she then inserts the surgical instruments, along with a tiny video camera that sends a video of the surgical site to a screen the surgeon monitors during the surgery.
  2. The robot arms hold the instruments but the surgeon is in complete control. The robot seamlessly replicates the surgeon’s wrist, hand and finger movements into exact real-time—but scaled-down—movements of the surgical instruments inside the patient’s body.
  3. Two high-resolution fiber-optic cameras produce a true 3-D color picture to help the surgeons clearly view the surgical area, which is critical when performing delicate procedures.

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