While the first documented case of a robot-assisted surgical operation took place in 1985, the innovative da Vinci robotic surgical system was first approved for use in surgical procedures in 2000. The system has since been implemented in thousands of hospitals
worldwide to facilitate minimally invasive surgery and provide patients with improved recoveries.
Astounding Strides In Surgery
The da Vinci robotic surgery enables various intricate operations to be carried out through laparoscopic incisions and with pinpoint accuracy. The da Vinci robotic surgical system is designed to work only in tandem with a human surgeon's control. The surgeon sits at a console from where he guides and controls the tools on the robotic unit. The robot is positioned at the patient's side. Four appendages extend from this unit. These jointed, interactive robotic arms hold and use small-scaled surgical instruments, all under the direction of the surgeon manning the control console. One hand of the robot functions as a camera to provide the surgeon with a three dimensional image of the surgical site.
All surgeons who utilize the da Vinci robotic surgical system must successfully complete a comprehensive training course to learn about how the system works and how the two will work together. The training includes hours of simulation practice sessions and observation of trained surgeons at work during robot-guided surgical procedures. In the operating room, where a da Vinci robotic surgery is performed, enhanced precision and dexterity and a doctor's medical skill come together to provide the most advanced surgical team for the patient.
Why Consider Robotic Surgery?
There are a number of advantages for choosing da Vinci robotic surgery over traditional surgery. Since the human surgeon remains seated comfortably while controlling the robot's intricate and precise movements, doctor fatigue and tremors are no longer a concern.
The robotic arms and instruments are designed to be smaller and have a fuller range of motion, which enables improved accuracy. As the surgeon guides the robot, he or she can maintain a constant three-dimensional visual focus on the surgical site without having to look away at a two-dimensional monitor screen.
All of these improvements have minimized safety compromises due to human error. The surgeon can remain focused on the task at hand and the decisions to be made while the intricate cutting and reconstruction is left to the robot.
For the patient, this minimally invasive surgical option results in less bleeding, less post-operative pain and a more rapid recovery. Operations that were once bloody and more involved, such as a radical prostatectomy, can now be performed with less discomfort and worry. A patient who undergoes a robotic hysterectomy can now be discharged from the hospital the day following her operation and dramatically reduce the six to eight week recovery period of a traditional abdominal hysterectomy.
Which Surgical Procedures Can the da Vinci System Perform?
The da Vinci robotic surgical system has successfully completed numerous procedures. At Northern Westchester Hospital, robotic surgery is enlisted for delicate surgical operations to treat such urological conditions as prostate cancer, urinary obstructions, renal cancer and gallstones.
The da Vinci surgical system is also utilized to provide surgical treatment of diverticulitis, colorectal tumors and gynecological cancers, and it is widely used for hysterectomies.
Other procedures that may be performed with the da Vinci robotic surgery system include: splenectomy, mitral valve repair, hiatal hernia repair and gastric bypass.
Hysterectomies performed with robotic surgery benefit from minimal scarring, less bleeding, less abdominal pain during recuperation and a shortened duration of recovery. Prostate cancer patients that require treatment through a radical prostatectomy can also reap the benefits of less bleeding and quicker recovery times when the procedure is performed with da Vinci robotic surgery, as well as a minimize chances for long term incontinence and impotence.
Northern Westchester Hospital Welcomes da Vinci In a continuous commitment to offering state-of-the-art excellence to their patients, Northern Westchester Hospital is proud to offer this technological advancement in medicine by welcoming the da Vinci robotic surgical system. Dr. Jerald Wishner co-directs the Northern Westchester Hospital robotics and minimally invasive surgery program. A graduate of Northwestern University who went on to specialize in general, colon and rectal surgery, Dr. Wishner has performed surgery for over twenty years. Dr. Wishner joined the staff of Northern Westchester Hospital in 2006, drawn by the facility's impressive dedication to provide patients with the latest surgical technology. He is also the present division chief of colon and rectal surgery and the director of the colon and rectal cancer program.
Despite his experienced and impressive background, Dr. Wishner continues to marvel at the capabilities of the da Vinci robotic system. "I've been performing surgery for 20 years, and the visualization with the da Vinci is better than anything I've ever seen, either in open surgery using big incisions or laparoscopic procedures before we had the robot. Millimeters make a difference. We want to get the tumor, but we don't want to injure nearby nerves that may affect the patient's sexual function or continence," Dr. Wishner explains. Dr. Wishner welcomes patients who are faced with the prospect of surgery to sit down and discuss all of their options, and is grateful to have this minimally invasive option available to them.
From a patient's point of view, when Frank required surgery to treat his prostate cancer, he had a decision to make regarding where he would opt to have the surgery performed. He had the added concern of having donated one of his kidneys several years prior. After a comforting initial conversation with one of Northern Westchester Hospital's physicians and researching the statistics of other area hospitals, the results for Northern Westchester Hospital were much more favorable and the decision became much simpler.
His successful robotic surgery proved, in his words, "a testament to the robot and to what they do at Northern Westchester Hospital."
For more information on the da Vinci Robotic Surgical System please feel free to contact the Northern Westchester Hospital today to discuss the benefits of robotic surgery at http://nwhroboticsurgery.org/default