Better Visualization – Benefits of Robotic Surgery
Surgery is all about anatomy, and anatomy is a visual science. One of the biggest advantages of robotic surgery is the exquisite view. Robotic surgery is a type of laparoscopic surgery, and both involve placing a slender, brightly lit, high magnification telescope through a small incision in the abdomen. This gives the surgeon an outstanding view of the problem area being treated.
Better visualization is a result of the following advantages of robotic surgery:
- Magnification (10 times)
- “Physical zoom” – ability to move the telescope very close to the tissue being treated. Imagine being able to see a one-inch structure filling a 50-inch monitor screen.
- High definition (HD) digital resolution images.
- Optimal angle of approach – Even large, open surgical incisions will often not provide a direct view of the essential anatomy that the surgeon must work on. A telescope can be inserted at an angle optimized for the specific procedure.
- Bright light – Similar to walking into a dark room and flipping on the light switch, the bright light makes it much easier to work – especially for delicate procedures.
- True three-dimensional (3D) view – During “regular” surgery, the view is a normal two-dimensional view. The robotic system can provide a more comprehensive 3D view of the affected area.
- Lack of blood loss – Bleeding can obscure the view of otherwise easily seen, delicate structures.
- Full control of camera movement by Scott D. Miller, MD.
- Clutter-free – Long, skinny instruments do not block the view or light. In other types of surgery, hands, standard surgical instruments, and even the surgeon’s head can create obstacles. Some patients think a large incision gives the surgeon a better view and access to the area being operated on. It’s almost the opposite: open surgery is like using a flashlight to look through the window into your house from the outside. Robotic surgery is like opening the door, turning on the lights, and walking right over to whatever you want to see.
Another myth that patients sometimes believe is that the surgeon is somehow at a disadvantage during robotic surgery because they cannot touch or feel the area being treated. Remember: surgery is about anatomy and anatomy is a visual science. Imagine if you were the surgeon and had the choice to see well or to feel better. If the problem is big enough to feel while wearing a rubber glove, it is certainly big enough – and better – to see utilizing the advantages of robotic surgery.