How Robotic Surgery Works
You have questions about how robotic surgery works. We’re excited to help you better understand this game-changing technology.
Is the surgery automated? No. Although it’s often called a "robot," the da Vinci® Surgical System cannot perform any acts on its own, nor can it make any decision on its own. Your surgeon is in complete control during your robotic surgery. Your surgeon controls the robotic arms attached to micro-instruments from a console a few feet from the operating table.
How does your surgeon control the da Vinci® Surgical System? Your surgeon uses joystick-like controls within the console that directly reflect the movement of the robotic instruments at the operating table. And it’s even smoother than traditional surgery. As the surgeon precisely maneuvers the robotic arms, the surgical device automatically corrects any hand tremors and makes movements exceptionally accurate.
How does your surgeon see? During surgery, a powerful scope is inserted through an incision just 1 – 2 centimeters (about .5 – .75 inches) long. A camera is attached to the outside of the scope. This gives your surgeon a highly detailed view of the surgical site. Through three-dimensional, binocular-like lenses that magnify up to ten times, your surgeon is able to see details within a fraction of a millimeter (hundredths of an inch). Visibility is also improved because the tiny incision reduces bleeding.
What are the risks? With any surgery, it’s important to discuss all of your treatment options as well as the associated risks and benefits with your physician.
If your physician recommends surgery, ask if robotic surgery is right for you.