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Laparoscopic vs. Robotict: April 20, 2013

They are the leaders of the pack when it comes to minimally invasive surgeries. Laparoscopic and robotic. Different techniques with the same benefits.

“There’s significantly less blood loss, it’s a quicker procedure, quicker recovery, less scarring, less chance for post operative wound complications or infections,” says Dr. Darren Miter, laparoscopic surgeon with Lee Memorial Health System.

In a laparoscopic procedure surgeons operate through a series of poke holes, manually inserting thin cutting tools and a camera to provide magnified vision. It’s used in a variety of surgical specialties.

“The vast majority of gallbladder surgeries are performed laparoscopically. A single incision in the belly button, one up under the breastbone and either one or two in the right upper side of the belly. Using long skinny instruments and looking up at a TV monitor, remove the gallbladder that way,” says Dr. Miter.

While laparoscopic is a hands-on approach, robotic procedures are surgeon-controlled. Working at a console, surgeons direct the robotic arms, which have super-human capabilities and 3D, hi def vision.

“I mean you have to see it to believe it, that’s a great tool to have. You got a very good depth perception. Plus the other thing when you’re working with your hands it’s more intuitive,” says Dr. Nagesh Ravipati, colorectal surgeon with Lee Memorial Health System.

The robotic system performs maneuvers the human hand can’t.

“Especially if you have to do any suturing, it is so much simpler with the robots because you can just turn around 360 degrees,” says Dr. Ravipati.

Robotic surgery is gaining momentum in precise procedures, including the field of cancer.

“The robot is good when you’re going to operate on just one field. For rectal surgery you’re in one place, it’s docked. It gives you the best 3 dimensional vision,” says Dr. Ravipati.