For this type of surgery, a doctor uses robotic arms to operate through small keyhole incisions in the abdomen.
The robotic arms are able to do surgical tasks with an increased range of motion. They also can filter out hand tremor. The special tools translate the doctor’s larger hand movements into smaller ones. This allows delicate work in small spaces.
Close-up view of laparoscopic tools used to remove the gallbladder (green structure).
Complications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. If you are planning to have a robot-assisted laparoscopic procedure, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:
Local anesthesia—just the area that is being operated on is numbed; given as an injection and may also be given with a sedative
Description of the Procedure
Several small incisions will be made. They are called keyhole incisions. Carbon dioxide gas will be passed into the abdomen to expand it. This will make it easier for the doctor to see.
A small camera will be passed through one of the incisions. This tool is called an endoscope. It lights, magnifies, and projects an image of the organs onto a video screen. The endoscope will be attached to one of the robotic arms. The other arms will hold tools that are able to grasp, cut, dissect, and suture. These may include:
The doctor will sit at a console, looking at the images on the screen. Joystick-like hand controls and foot pedals will help to guide the tools. Another doctor will stay by you to adjust the tools as needed. In some cases, organs or tissue might need to be removed. When the procedure is done, the tools will be removed. The doctor will close the incisions with sutures or staples and apply a sterile dressing.
How Long Will It Take?
About 1-2 hours (depending on the type of procedure)
How Much Will It Hurt?
You will have pain and discomfort during recovery. Your doctor will give you pain medicine. You may also feel bloated or have pain in your shoulder from the gas used during the procedure. This can last up to three days.
Average Hospital Stay
This procedure is done in a hospital setting. The usual length of stay is 1-2 days. Your doctor may choose to keep you longer if you have any problems.
When you return home, do the following to help ensure a smooth recovery:
Wash the incisions with mild soap and water.
Take antibiotics to help prevent infection if instructed.
Avoid certain medicines.
Resume normal activities (eg, daily walks) soon. This will promote healing. You will have to avoid other activities, like driving, sexual activity, and strenuous exercise.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a