The Benefits of Robotic Surgery

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Surgery can be a scary word, but with advances in technology that shouldn’t be the case.

As with any medical intervention, surgery can have its risks, which is why it almost always the last route taken by doctors. Fortunately for patients, technological advances have been made, in the form of robotic-assisted surgery, that allow surgeons to minimize the risk involved in the procedures and often results in better outcomes and recovery times shorter than ever before.

Robotic surgery is an operation is performed through small incisions with the aid of a video camera and small instruments. The robotic system is an advancement as the camera provides a crisp, magnified 3-D view of the area being operated on. The camera and instruments are controlled by the surgeon sitting at the console next to the operating room table. These small instruments are very precise and can be moved by the surgeon smoothly in multiple directions and angles allowing the procedure to be done more efficiently and easier.

Over the past five years or so, robotic assisted surgery has been increasingly used by general surgeons to perform many routine operations such as gallbladder surgery, hernia repair and colon surgery, as well as surgery for reflux disease.

White-Wilson’s team of surgeons utilize the da Vinci Xi robotic surgical system for robotic procedures. The system was developed by Intuitive Surgical, Inc. and is one of the most advanced tools available to preform surgeries. Through WWMC’s partnership with Fort Walton Beach Medical Center, WWMC surgeons are able to provide our patients with the best surgical care.

Advantages to the use of robotic-assisted surgery are many. Foremost, robotic-assisted surgeries avoid the use of large incisions on the body. This results smaller, less noticeable surgical scars, a decreased risk of post-operative infection, decreased use of pain medications and, often, a shorter recovery time.

While it is understandable why many patients would request robotic surgeries, doctors emphasize that traditional, open surgeries do have their purpose and may be the best choice for certain procedures. Robotic as well as traditional (open) procedures are each offered at White-Wilson Medical Center through the General Surgery Department and are tailored to the individual patient’s condition.

Patients should consult with their doctor about the best options to address their individual needs. Regardless of whether the surgery will be a robotic procedure or not, there are many protocols and procedures in place in operating rooms that limit the potential for adverse risks and promote a healthy and effective outcome.

David Burkland, MD, FACS; John Dali, MD, FACS; and Randall McKissack, MD, FACS specialize in advanced surgical techniques to treat a wide range of conditions. Drs. Burkland, Dail and McKissack are each board-certified by the American Board of Surgery and are Fellows of the American College of Surgeons.