Robotic Surgery: Three Things You Didn’t Know

July 03, 2013

The prospect of surgery can be unsettling for anyone, and not just those who get queasy at the sight of a needle. The possibility of missed work, pain and an extensive recovery can cause many to put off non-urgent but necessary procedures.

Fortunately, there are alternatives to open surgery for many conditions, including prostate, kidney and bladder cancers, and robotics is a leading option. In fact, hundreds of thousands of robotic surgeries are performed in the United States every year as patients seek treatments that are less invasive and require reduced hospital stays.

Still, there are many things people do not know about robotic surgery. For one thing, the robot is not performing the surgery. Rather, the surgeon performs the procedure with miniaturized instruments, guiding the robotic arms against a three-dimensional image of the surgical field. The system replicates the surgeon’s movements in real time.

Here are a few other aspects of robotic surgery that may surprise you:

  • Less blood: Robotic surgery is associated with fewer blood transfusions when compared with open surgery because it requires minimal incisions and is more precise. This means less blood loss.
  • Prettier results: Because of the smaller incisions that robotic surgery requires, patients will experience less pain as well as less scarring, for a potentially better cosmetic result.
  • Faster recovery: Since robotic surgery is less invasive to the body, patients are able to return to normal activities quicker than they would with open surgery.

Patients should not put off for tomorrow a surgery that can be successfully, and less invasively, performed today. With robotics, people can recover faster and be back to their regular schedules sooner. There is nothing to fear in that.

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