Robotic surgery has evolved from straight-stick instruments to instruments that can move in all directions with even more precision than the human hand. What’s more, new improvements such as these are simultaneously helping the movement to same-day discharge patients after their procedures. The future has never looked brighter.
Previously, straight-stick instruments could only move in up or down directions. In traditional laparoscopic surgery, the surgeon would use a camera alongside straight-stick instruments. Small incisions were made, the instruments went inside, and the surgeon would maneuver the tips of the limited instruments at the bedside.
Robotic surgery, a new and hugely successful advantage, allows surgeons to perform complex procedures with much better precision. The surgeon can operate these robotic instruments, much like a human hand. Moreover, the new cameras attached to these improved robotic instruments are equipped with three-dimensional visualization to provide the surgeon with more clarity than ever before.
The robot is not, in any way, acting independently. The surgeon has complete control over the robotic console — no movement is made without the surgeon. The robotic platform can be thought of as a stationary assistant, an assistant who holds the instruments and moves only by the guidance of the surgeon’s hands.
Many different procedures can be performed robotically, from simple hysterectomies to more complex pelvic surgery. For example, patients needing procedures for large uterine fibroids or very severe endometriosis, which can cause scarring and inflammation in the pelvis, can now enjoy less painful procedures and faster recovery time.
When compared to traditional open surgery, there are many proven benefits to robotic surgery. For minimally invasive surgeries, patients will experience less blood loss, less hospitalization time, lower infection rates, and less pain overall.
Robotic procedures have been found to cut recovery time in half when compared to open approaches. For instance, recovery from a robotic hysterectomy generally takes 2–3 weeks. When in comparison, a traditional open hysterectomy takes 5–6 weeks to recover from.
There is a movement within the medical field toward same-day discharge or releasing a patient from the hospital to recover at their home a few hours after their procedure. This has been studied extensively at major surgical and cancer centers with promising results. Same-day discharge has been found to be safe and satisfying. Patients can spend more recovery time with their families in the comfort of their homes versus the hospital.
Robotic procedures and movement toward same-day hospital discharges are allowing patients to get back to their regular routines much sooner. In the long-term, we also see much less formation of adhesions and scar tissue after minimally invasive surgeries when compared to traditional open procedures. Ultimately, these advancements in the medical field are exciting to follow as they aim to improve a patient’s care, comfort, and recovery significantly.
Did you know robotic surgery may be an option for you? Some physicians at North Atlanta OBGYN are highly skilled and trained in this method. Learn more here.