If a doctor tells you that you need surgery, you may feel confused and concerned. You are probably worried about whether the surgery will be successful, how much pain you may have and how much time you will miss from work. The good news is that with advances in surgical technology, you can expect a very different surgery experience at UCLA.
Robotic surgery is currently carried out with the use of the da Vinci™ surgical system, a unique set of technologies that include specialized “arms” for holding instruments and a camera, as well as a magnified screen and a console.
Benefits of Robotic Surgery
Concerns about Robotic Surgery
Minimally invasive are just two fancy words that mean smaller incisions. These types of surgeries mean shorter hospitalization and faster recovery for patients. Other benefits may be:
To operate using the Robotic system, your surgeon makes tiny incisions in your body and inserts miniaturized instruments and a high-definition three-dimensional camera, and sometimes skin incisions are not required at all. Then, from a nearby console, your surgeon manipulates those instruments to perform the operation.
Think of the Robotic system system like a video game. When you play a video game, you move a control button, and the machine translates your movements into real-time, mimicking your moves precisely on the screen. During a Robotic-assisted procedure, your surgeon uses master controls to manipulate the instruments, and the instruments translate your surgeon’s movements into precise movements inside your body. Your surgeon is in control the whole time; the surgical system responds to the direction he provides.
We also know many patients are concerned about the idea of a robot performing surgery. You should know that the Robotic Surgical System is really a system that allows your surgeon to make precise, delicate motions while controlling the machine. The robot is never, ever making decisions or performing incisions. Rather, your surgeon is telling the robot what to do, and the robot allows for greater precision than the human hand on its own.
The Robotic system cannot “think” on its own. It only responds to your surgeon’s precise hand and finger movements. Your surgeon is in the operating room, directing the procedure the entire time.
During a Robotic-assisted surgery, your surgeon “directs” the surgery from nearby, but does not stand over you like during a traditional surgery. While each surgery is different, here are the general steps to a Robotic-assisted surgery:
There are many benefits to having a Robotic-assisted surgery. A Robotic-assisted surgery benefits you directly—shorter recovery time—as well as indirectly—the surgeon has better visualization, leading to a more precise surgery. Other benefits:
Many conditions have been successfully treated using Robotic-assisted surgery. These include:
Without proper training, any doctor cannot simply walk into an operating room and direct a robotic surgery. However, any doctor can be successfully trained in the Robotic Surgical System. That is why at UCLA, we have invested so much in not only training our surgeons, but also in training our entire robotic surgical team, so that patients can expect the best possible experience. Meet our robotic surgeons.
By coming to UCLA where safety and quality is our highest priority. We have training supported by simulation and educational programs where we train not only our own doctors but also those from across the country to be the best and most skilled in their craft.
There is a camera inside your body, which sends real-time images to your surgeon, seated at the console. In fact, the images your surgeon sees using the Robotic System are more highly magnified, with a sharper resolution, then what he or she would see standing over you.
Every patient is different and you should discuss your recovery with your doctor. In general, patients may stay in the hospital one to two nights and then return home. Most patients find they have recovered fully within six weeks of surgery.
We take pain management after surgery very seriously at UCLA. Our teams research effective pain management techniques for use after surgery, including robotic surgery. They will work with you to make sure your pain is managed well before, during and after the surgery. As we know people’s pain can continue when they return home, we will also help develop a pain treatment plan for you for when you leave the hospital.
Phone: 800-UCLA-MD1 (or 800-825-2631)