What is Robotic Assisted Surgery?

Robotic assisted surgery  allows doctors to perform various complex procedures. Allowing for  more precision, flexibility and control than is possible with conventional techniques.

This surgical method is usually associated with minimally invasive surgery — procedures performed through tiny incisions.

da vinci robot in operation room
Robotic assisted surgery with nurse standing next to the operating table

The Da Vinci® Surgical System

There are currently 6 da Vinci® Surgical Systems in use in South Africa. The da Vinci surgical system gives your surgeon an advanced set of instruments to use in performing robotic-assisted minimally invasive surgery. The term “robotic” often misleads people. Robots don’t perform surgery. Your surgeon performs surgery with da Vinci by using instruments that he or she guides via a console.

The da Vinci system translates your surgeon’s hand movements at the console in real time, bending and rotating the instruments while performing the procedure. The tiny wristed instruments move like a human hand, but with a greater range of motion. The da Vinci vision system also delivers highly magnified, 3D high-definition views of the surgical area. The instrument size makes it possible for surgeons to operate through one or a few small incisions.

Types of surgery with the
Da Vinci® Surgical Systems

The system allows surgeons to perform laparoscopic surgery using robotic instruments with movements that far surpass what the human hand can do. Today doctors still perform open surgery, but they can also perform many urologic procedures using minimally invasive laparoscopic or robotic-assisted surgery.

Both minimally invasive surgical options require one or a few small incisions that doctors use to insert surgical equipment and a camera for viewing. In laparoscopic surgery, doctors use special long-handled tools to perform surgery while viewing magnified images from the laparoscope (camera) on a video screen.

What is the Da Vinci® Surgical System

The Da Vinci® Surgical Systems have three main components. 

Surgeon Console

This is where the surgeon sits during the procedure. The surgeon has a clear 3DHD view of your anatomy and controls the instruments. The machine have small wristed instruments, that offer greater range of motion that any human hands. 

Patient Cart

The patient cart is placed next to the patient on the operating table. This is where the instruments move in real time, as a response to the surgeon’s hand movements at the console. 

Vision Cart

The Vision cart makes communication between the system components possible. It also provides a screen for the surgical team to view the operation. 

urological procedures performed with the
Da Vinci® Surgical System

  • Prostatectomy (prostate surgery)
  • Partial and Total Nephrectomy (kidney surgery)
  • Pyeloplasty (surgery to relieve kidney blockage)
  • Cyst Removal (surgery to remove cyst from kidney)
  • Cystectomy (bladder surgery)
  • Ureteral Implantation (fix the tubes that connect the bladder to the kidneys)