Surgical techniques for accessing the internal organs have evolved significantly over the last 15 years. Urology has been at the forefront of that evolution. The urologic organs, including the kidneys, prostate, and bladder, lie in body compartments that are difficult to access. In order to reach these vital structures, open surgical techniques require large incisions, complex dissections, and manipulation of uninvolved organs. The result is long, painful convalescence both in and out of the hospital, high complications rates, and. frequently, multiple transfusions.
With the advent of fiberoptic technology, in which long scopes can project images on a screen, laparoscopy came onto the scene. Using sticks that are inserted through small incisions surrounding the organ of interest, and a camera that projects an image from within the body, surgery could be performed without opening the body cavity. Hospital stays shortened; the need for narcotic pain medication was limited; and patients returned to their activities of daily living in a fraction of the time it took in the past. Gynecology, general surgery, and urology changed as a result of laparoscopic surgery.
The introduction of the robot was precipitated by the inability of the laparoscopic instruments to move with agility. Although the sticks in laparoscopy allow for grasping, cutting, and cauterizing, stitching and manipulation of organs is cumbersome. In urology, the structures that are left behind need to connect to one another in order for the urine to pass. If a structure is removed, the neighboring organs need to be sewn together to retain continuity of the urinary stream. The robot facilitates sewing through laparoscopic ports. For this reason, the robot has changed urologic surgery. Kidney cancer, prostate cancer, bladder prolapse repairs, and reconstructive surgery are all performed using robotic assisted techniques.
The robot is an instrument that has arms. The arms are inserted into the patient through small holes in the skin. The surgeon sits at a console and directs the robotic arms, while an assistant works at the patient’s bedside and helps the robotic surgeon. The surgeon does not need to scub, wear a mask, gown, or gloves. He or she can sit comfortably at the console and perform the operation. The image that the surgeon sees is projected in three dimensions and it is magnified for maximal visualization. More and more operations are being performed using the robot.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!