Over the last thirty years, the trend in surgery is downsizing. Taking big operations and making them smaller. And now more surgeries are being performed by doctor’s using robotic techniques.
“The first thing is, you get the 3-D vision. I think that’s great tool to have, you get a very good depth perception. Plus, when you’re working with your hands it’s more intuitive. With the robot it’s very precise,” says Dr. Nagesh Ravipati, colorectal surgeon on Lee Memorial Health System’s medical staff.
Rather than being beside the patient, the surgeon stands at a console in the room and controls the instruments while the robot matches the hand movements. The benefit being the robot has extra arms, expert eyes and can move like no human can.
In recent years robotic-assisted surgeries have expanded to include a wide body of procedures- including cardiac, gynecologic, prostate and now more colorectal surgeries. The common benefit: they are less invasive to the patient.
“It does save people in terms of time off of work. There are smaller incisions, they use less pain medication in the hospital and they tend to leave the hospital earlier,” says Dr. Janette Gaw, colorectal surgeon on Lee Memorial Health System’s medical staff.
In each case, doctors are best positioned to determine if and when the technique is suitable. In colon surgery, the robot well suited for lower, rectal procedures, which focus on a limited space.
“You bring the robot in, you park it and you just start dissecting the pelvic. Robotic is very good for tiny places such as the pelvis. That’s why it’s good for prostate surgery as well,” says Dr. Gaw.
The prospect of a less-traumatic operation has more people relying on robots for their surgery.