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Robotic Surgery

The department has a DaVinci Surgical Robot which complements the state-of-the-art laparoscopic unit. The surgical robot enables complex surgeries to be performed with the smallest of cuts, maximum precision and safety.


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What is Robotic Surgery?

Robotic Surgery is a Minimal Access Surgical technique where the Surgeon uses a Surgical Robot to perform the surgery. Surgery is performed under General Anaesthesia.

How is Robotic Surgery performed?

Robotic Surgery is performed in the following manner:

  1. The patient is anaesthetized (General anaesthesia) and positioned appropriately on the operating table
  2. The Robot is positioned and the Surgeon with the help of his assistant places the Robotic ports into the Abdominal cavity(similar to Laparoscopy) and these are then attached to the Robot(Docking the Robot). The instruments are then placed through the ports and connected to the Robot.
  3. The Surgeon then sits at the Master Console and using the Robot completes the planned operation. The Surgeon’s operative view is a 3d stereoscopic HD with magnification. The Robot also eliminates any tremors. This allows for very accurate surgery.
  4. After the procedure is completed, the Robotic instruments are removed and the Robot is detached from the patient(Undocking the Robot). The Surgeon then completes the closure of the port sites(small cuts) and then the patient is brought out of Anaesthesia by the Anaesthetist.

What are the types of Surgeries that are performed using the Surgical Robotic?

    Most Laparoscopic (Keyhole) Surgeries can be performed using the Robot. The Robot is most useful in Surgeries needing manipulations in narrow, deep areas with many critical structures in the vicinity, for e.g:

    • Rectal and Colon Cancer Surgeries.
    • Stomach and Oesophageal Cancer Surgeries.
    • Surgeries on the Oesophagus(Food pipe) for conditions like Achalasia Cardia(Swallowing issue due to non-relaxation of the lower end of the food pipe).
    • Pancreatic and Hepatobiliary Surgeries.
    • Adrenalectomy (removal of the Adrenal gland for tumours).
    • Neck Surgeries e.g Scarless Thyroidectomy(Thyroid gland removal).
    • Urological Surgeries(Radical Prostatectomy-is the most common Robotic Surgery) and Gynecological surgeries.

    Are there any disadvantages of undergoing a Robotic Surgery?

    The only disadvantage of a Robotic Surgery is the cost. Surgery is more expensive than alternative methods of operating, but this is to be expected when such advanced technology and skill is being used. The advantages of Robotic Surgery far outweigh the cost disadvantage for the appropriate surgery.

    What are the advantages of Robotic Surgery?

    Robotic Surgery has several advantages for the patient of which the following are most relevant;

    1. Improved Surgical accuracy due to 3D vision with Magnification.
    2. Enhanced ability to perform complex surgeries in challenging anatomical areas e.g Male pelvis, using Minimal Access Techniques.
    3. Lesser blood loss due to improved vision, smaller incisions, and the use of advanced energy sources.
    4. Decreased postoperative pain and quicker recovery.

    Does the Robot independently perform any steps of the Surgery?

    No, the Surgical Robot cannot and does not operate independently of the Surgeon. Current Robotic Technology is based on the “Master and Slave” Principle, where the Surgeon is the complete “Master” and the “Robot” is the absolute slave, incapable of doing any step without the Surgeon. In effect the Robot is a very high-tech extension of the Surgeon’s hands and fingers.

    When should I choose to undergo Robotic Surgery?

    Based on the diagnosis of your clinical condition and the planned Surgery, the Consultant Surgeon would give the patient the option of Robotic Surgery if it is deemed to confer an advantage to the patient and would improve outcomes. At this point all the pros and cons of the proposed Surgery and the probable alternatives like Open Surgery are discussed before a fully informed decision is made.


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