After the establishment of Laparoscopic Surgery, the new revolution of 21st century in the field of Minimally Invasive Surgery is Robotic Surgery. A special robotic system called “da Vinci” is used It is controlled by special computers and is able to offer accuracy which is impossible to be achieved by the human hand.
This robotic system of course requires handling from an expertised surgeon. Its handling is done with remote control. The surgeon stands in front of a special console and controls the robot through a computer and finally performs the operation by moving special joysticks, while seeing in a monitor digitally the surgical field.
The robotic system, through digital high definition picture, offers an accurate, 3D and maximised image to the surgeon, provides detailed information for the tissues and in fact it eliminates the usual disadvantages of laparoscopic technique. Large contribution to that offer the articulated robotic arms, which are able to perform in three dimensions all the movements that the human hand can do, but with the exceptional difference that they are absolutely accurate. Robotic Surgery necessitates special training for the operating surgeon, since the systems operation dramatically differs from laparoscopic surgery, and of course much more from open-conventional surgery.
What is the da Vinci surgical system?
The da Vinci surgical system is the first robotic surgery system to be approved by the American FDA. The surgeon manipulates and coordinates the whole system through a surgical console, having in sight in front of him a maximised and three dimensional image of the surgical field. The surgical console has joysticks where he places his fingers and moves them just like he uses his hands. Every move of the surgeon replicates with absolute accuracy and stability inside the surgical field by the surgical robotic arms.
Which are the advantages of robotic surgery?
- Absolute application of “minimally invasive surgery”
- Very small incisions, with which we in fact make the surgical wound more than ten times less.
- Minimises the post-surgical pain.
- Excellent aesthetic result, with practically no scars after surgery.
- Earlier recovery and hospital discharge.
- Almost complete obliteration of post-surgical wound related complications, like wound infection, herniation, chronic pain etc.
- Fewer respitory and cardiovascular complications
- Great reduction of the possibility of post-surgical adhesions.
- Eliminates the restrictions of laparoscopic surgery.
- Offers 3D image and great visual magnification.
- The articulated surgical arms of the robot are able to perform the whole range of the human hand movements with absolute accuracy, even in tiny spaces.
- It provides greater accuracy in surgical handling, offering the potential of performing the most difficult surgical manoeuvres.
- It gives the surgeon the ability to prepare the surgical procedure in the computer, using the radiological images of the internal organs of patients. The surgeon is able to recall these images in his monitor intraoperatively.
Applications of robotic surgery
Robotic surgery is applied by many surgical specialties, like general surgery, urology, morbid obesity surgery, cardiac surgery, thoracic surgery, vascular surgery, gynaecology etc.
Nowadays the most common robotic surgical procedures are the morbid obesity procedures, cholecystectomy, colon procedures, treatment of esophageal reflux and achalasia, gynaecological procedures, prostate surgery, nephrectomy etc.