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Health Information High Definition in the Operating Room

Robots in the operating room? Well, yes, but they wont be replacing your surgeon.

Robotic technology has been used in manufacturing for some time. Now its being used in the operating room to enhance the surgeons view during the procedure. The da Vinci S Surgical System is a robotic surgical system that provides three-dimensional high definition tools to virtually extend the surgeons eyes and hands into the surgical field. The system is designed to enable new, minimally invasive options for complex surgical procedures. The high-definition image improves clarity and detail of tissue and anatomy, which is crucial for complex dissection and reconstructive procedures.

"We are very excited Rush is the first in Chicago to make this high-definition robotic system available to its patients. Having completed close to 100 operations on the standard da Vinci, its amazing what a difference the high-definition makes with delicate procedures such as prostatectomy for prostate cancer, in terms of our ability to visualize and spare nerves which are vital for continence and potency," says Kalyan C. Latchamsetty, MD, urologist, Comprehensive Prostate Cancer Clinic at Rush.

The da Vinci System enhances surgical capabilities by enabling the performance of complex surgeries through tiny surgical openings. The surgeon sits in an ergonomic console just a few feet from the patient and views the surgical site through the high definition, three dimensional viewer. The robotic system is above the patient. It has several mechanical arms that hold a camera as well as surgical instruments. The surgeon uses hand controls and foot pedals to manipulate the robotic arms.

The da Vinci System offers improvement over conventional laparoscopy, in which the surgeon operates while standing, using hand-held, long-shafted instruments. With conventional laparoscopy, the surgeon must look up and away from the instruments, to a nearby 2D video monitor to see an image of the target anatomy. The surgeon must also rely on an assistant to position the camera correctly.

In contrast, the da Vinci Systems design allows the surgeon to operate from a comfortable, seated position at the console, with eyes and hands positioned in line with the instruments. Fingertip control of the instruments, greater range of movement than the human wrist and tremor reduction make the surgeons movement extremely precise and minimize opportunities for human error.

For the patient, a da Vinci procedure can offer all the benefits of a minimally invasive procedure, including less pain, less blood loss and less need for blood transfusions. Patients have a shorter hospital stay, a quicker recovery and faster return to normal activities. Clinical studies also suggest the da Vinci System may help surgeons provide better clinical outcomes than conventional technologies allow.

Initially, the da Vinci is being used at Rush for treatment of prostate cancer. Traditional radical prostatectomy, which is the removal of the prostate gland, requires a large, 12- to 16-centimeter incision. The da Vinci prostatectomy involves five one-centimeter incisions. The precision and 360º rotation of the micro-instruments enable the surgeon to remove the prostate while protecting the anatomy and nerve bundles that affect urination and potency.

The patients recovery from da Vinci Prostatectomy is like night and day compared to traditional open surgery. Da Vinci patients have significantly less pain and get back on their feet much faster, said Latchamsetty. The greater surgical precision leads to improved clinical outcomes and better cancer control.

Read more about innovations in cancer surgery in Minimally Invasive Surgery for Cancer: Small Incisions, Big Rewards.

More Information at Your Fingertips:

  • For more information about cancer care at Rush visit our Cancer Programs home page.
  • For more information about complementary care to support you during cancer treatment, visit our Cancer Integrative Medicine Program home page.
  • Looking for a doctor? Call toll free: 888 352-RUSH (888 352-7874)

Please note: All physicians featured in Discover Rush Online are on the medical faculty of Rush University Medical Center. Some of the physicians featured are in private practice and, as independent practitioners, are not agents or employees of Rush University Medical Center.

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