The field of robotic surgery has developed rapidly, and its use for gynecologic conditions has grown exponentially. What does this mean for a patient? Do you imagine an independent machine, maybe looking like C3PO from Star Wars or something? Well, the robot does look futuristic, but it is completely controlled by your surgeon, giving him or her more dexterity than the human hand and wrist. Here's what you can really expect if you're a candidate for this cutting edge technology.
The current robotic surgical system consists of 3 components:
- A surgeon's console
- A patient-side cart with four robotic arms
- A high-definition three-dimensional (3D) vision system.
During robotic surgery, the primary surgeon sits at the console, using finger graspers to control the instruments. Foot pedals and a clutch are used for camera control, activation of energy sources, focusing, and switching the robotic arm. Four to five trocars are used, including one through which a 12-mm or 8-mm three-dimensional endoscope is placed. Instruments are passed through three to four ports, three of which can be controlled by the robotic arms. One additional arm, not controlled by the robot, may be placed as an “assistant” port. Assistant surgical team members pass robotic instruments and sutures through these ports for use by the primary surgeon. These ports also provide suction, irrigation, and countertraction. Instruments for suturing, clamping, endosurgery are also a part of this. The console provides three-dimensional imaging with improved depth perception, and the surgeon has autonomous control of the camera and instruments. Finally, the robotic arm, with its wristed joint and six degrees of freedom, allows for greater dexterity than unassisted surgery and decreases normal hand tremors.
Robotics have also been found to give an edge in more complex surgeries. The conversion rate to open surgery is lesser with robotic assistance when compared to laparoscopy. For myomectomy surgery, endo wrist movement of robotic instrument allows better and precise suturing than conventional straight stick laparoscopy. The robotic platform is a logical step forward to laparoscopy and has become popular among gynecological surgeons world over.
If you've been told you need gynecological surgery, our doctors have experience and expertise. Contact us for a consultation.