Robotic Surgery and Its Benefits for You

So, you have just been given a diagnosis that requires surgery. You are likely nervous or perhaps the type of person who wants to know all the options before making a decision. Historically, surgery has been performed via an “open procedure” where an incision is made to gain access to the organs inside your body. More recently, many operations are being offered using laparoscopic surgery, where surgery is performed through ports into the body. Robotic surgery is another option to consider.

What is Robotic Surgery?

Robotic surgery is a highly technical approach to minimally-invasive surgery. It offers many patients the possibility of less invasive surgery, with smaller incisions, less scarring, decreased postoperative pain, and shorter hospital stay. For other patients, decreased blood loss, higher rates of organ preservation, lower risk of nerve injury and improved lymph node dissections for cancer may be offered by robotic surgery.

How is da Vinci Robotic Surgery Performed?

In da Vinci robotic surgery, the surgeon works from a “surgeon console” using finger controls and foot pedals to manipulate the robotic arms of the “patient cart.” The surgeon’s wrist, hand and finger movements are translated into fine movements at the tips of the instruments, which are much smaller than the surgeon’s hands and can work in confined spaces. The technology is based on “master/slave” and cannot operate independently of the surgeon. It is also called “robot-assisted surgery” and “robot surgery.”

Robot surgery gives your surgeon access to places inside the body that traditionally required a more radical approach. Emory’s nine da Vinci robotic surgery systems provide high-definition, 3D imaging with 10X magnification that enables our surgeons to visualize much greater detail than is possible with the naked eye. Additionally, “dual consoles” enable two surgeons to operate in a collaborative fashion for patients with more complicated issues requiring multiple surgical specialists.

How Long Has Robot Surgery Been Around?

In the mid-1980’s NASA developed telepresence surgery with a focus on providing the surgeon (who was in a separate location from the patient) the sense of operating directly on the patient. The U.S. Army further developed this technology in the 1990’s as part of an effort to decrease wartime mortality and bring the surgeon’s abilities (without bringing the actual surgeon) to the wounded soldier on the battlefield.While success with animal models was realized, it has never been tested or implemented in the battlefield.

Robot surgery technologies were then blended with minimally-invasive surgery thus expanding the limitations of traditional laparoscopic approaches. It simplified complex procedures with the help of computers and mechanics.

Robot-Assisted Surgery at Emory

Originally founded at Emory St. Joseph’s Hospital in 2002, the Emory Healthcare Robotic Surgery Program was designed to perform heart surgery. Today, our robotic program includes 4 hospitals in the metro Atlanta area. It performs over 1600 robotic surgery procedures each year.

Types of Robot-Assisted Surgery at Emory:

  • Hiatal Hernia and Stomach Surgery
  • Cancer Surgery
  • Abdominal Wall Hernia Surgery
  • Oral Tumor Surgery
  • Esophageal Surgery

Emory da Vinci Robotic Surgery Team is Here to Care for You

In addition to the world-class surgeons, Emory robot-assisted surgery programs include expert physician assistants, nurses, anesthesiologists and surgical technicians to ensure our patients are cared for by a highly specialized team. Our team has received additional education and training regarding the utilization of the robotic surgery systems with particular focus on patient safety. Our goal is to achieve the highest in quality outcomes. Our team of physicians, data analysts and administrators evaluate and modify treatment plans based on the best practices applicable to your unique health situation.

Highlights of Emory Healthcare's Robotic Surgery Program

  1. Recognized international leader and Center of Excellence in Robotic Heart Valve Surgery
  2. Center of Excellence for Robotic Bariatric Surgery
  3. Center of Excellence for Robotic Colon and Rectal Surgery
  4. National leader in Transoral Robotic Surgery (TORS) for oral tumors
  5. National leader in Urologic Oncologic Surgery, including robotic cystectomy for bladder cancer
  6. Training center for robotic surgeons from other hospitals throughout the United States and abroad
  7. Training center for resident surgeons learning robotic surgery in varied surgical disciplines

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Need help? We will be delighted to assist you today, so please call us at 404-778-7777. We look forward to hearing from you.

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