Spotlight on: Robotic Surgery at GRMC

500 years ago, Leonardo da Vinci was working in Italy as an artist and engineer, drawing amazingly detailed sketches of human anatomy and even designing a number of complex machines.

Today, a robot assisted surgery system bearing his name is used to perform multiport and single site laparoscopic general and gynecologic surgical procedures at GRMC. The system consists of three pieces: a computerized physician console, a 3-D video monitor, and the robot with three robotic arms.

During a da Vinci robotic surgery, the surgeon sits at the consul near the operating table. A magnified high-definition image of the operating area appears on a monitor. Using computerized hand and foot controls to manipulate the robotic arms, the surgeon then performs the procedure.

Is it safe?
“Every action is directly controlled by the surgeon,” says Annette Jones, Executive Director of Perioperative Services at GRMC. “The robotic arms cannot be programmed to move on their own. When the surgeon’s forhead is removed from the surgeon console, the robotic arms freeze as a safety precaution.”

What are the benefits?
The magnified view of the operating field, combined with the flexibility and precision of the computer-controlled surgical tools, allows for very small incisions during surgery. The smaller opening can lead to several benefits for the patient:

  • Less pain, scarring and blood loss
  • A shorter hospital stay
  • A lower risk of infection

Not all surgeries can be performed using the da Vinci robotic system, and not everyone is a candidate for its use. If you are considering general or gynecologic surgery at GRMC, ask your doctor whether the da Vinci system is an option.