The Most Common Robotic Surgery Procedures

most common robotic surgery procedures

Robotic surgery is a minimally invasive option that can minimize tissue damage. By making only a small incision, surgeons are able to access areas of the body inaccessible with traditional open surgery techniques.

In a robotic procedure, a surgeon sits at a remote console with hand and foot controls that operate surgical instruments attached to robotic arms. Another surgeon stands nearby to confirm correct instrument placement and monitor movement of the robotic arms.

Colon and Rectal Surgery

Robotic surgery offers several advantages over open colon and rectal surgery, such as reduced blood loss and postoperative discomfort. Furthermore, robotic procedures tend to be less invasive, allowing patients to recover faster.

At Weill Cornell Medicine, we utilize the most cutting-edge robotic technology for minimally invasive colon and rectal surgery procedures. These include laparoscopic colon or colectomy, laparoscopic sigmoid-colostomy repairs, as well as laparoscopic correction of rectum prolapse.

These procedures involve inserting small tubes with cameras through tiny incisions in the abdomen. The camera projects a high-definition image of the body onto a monitor in the operating room, allowing surgeons to guide their tools without making large incisions.

During this procedure, your surgeon excises the diseased portion of the colon or rectum and joins its remaining ends using small surgical instruments. Afterwards, they close the incision.

Robotic surgery offers several advantages over open surgery, including a shorter hospital stay and speedier recovery. Furthermore, it’s less painful than open surgery so you can resume eating sooner.

Additionally, robotic surgery eliminates the need for narcotic pain medication after the procedure. This enables faster healing and quicker return to work.

Robotic colon surgery can be performed in either the upper part of the abdomen or lower (in the scrotum). There are various colectomies and rectal procedures available to treat colon cancer, rectal stenosis or other problems with bowel function.

Colon colectomies are commonly performed to treat bowel obstruction, inflammatory bowel disease and other issues that prevent stools from passing through the colon. An incision is made in the middle of the abdomen and the diseased section of colon or rectum is removed; then, this remaining portion is joined together with the intestine to form a “J pouch.”

Open colectomy requires smaller incisions than a robotic procedure, and the gastrointestinal tract generally heals more rapidly compared to an open colectomy which typically takes 4-6 weeks for recovery. So you can resume eating sooner after having had your robotic procedure instead of waiting weeks.

Gynecologic Surgery

Gynecologic surgery encompasses any procedure on the female reproductive system, such as the vagina, cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries (figure 1). Common procedures performed under this heading include hysterectomy (removal of the uterus), oophorectomy (removal of an ovary) and myomectomy (removal of uterine fibroids).

Robotic surgery is a minimally invasive type of surgery that utilizes computer control to move and position surgical tools. The surgeon sits at a console controlling the robotic arms as they work together to manipulate surgical instruments for greater accuracy and precision.

Some gynecologic surgery procedures necessitate a short hospital stay, while others can be completed as an outpatient. Your gynecologist will help you decide the treatment options most suitable for you.

For example, if you have a cyst removed from your ovary, it is likely that you must return to your doctor within a few days or weeks for further treatment. Other gynecologic surgeries, such as hysterectomy or myomectomy, require longer recovery periods.

After gynecologic surgery, pain may be experienced at first – especially when you first come home from the hospital. Generally, this should subside over time and may be managed with pain medication for temporary relief.

After your gynecologic surgery, you may experience some light spotting or bleeding. This is perfectly normal; however, if the bleeding becomes heavy or sudden, contact your doctor right away.

Following your hysterectomy or myomectomy, it is likely that you will need blood tests and follow-up appointments with your doctor to check for complications and ensure a speedy recovery. These tests help detect potential issues early on so that any necessary measures can be taken during this time.

Hysterectomy is the most commonly performed gynecologic surgery procedure, but other surgical treatments can also be utilized to address issues with your uterus or ovaries. Your gynecologist may suggest a hysteroscopy or cervical cryosurgery for diagnosing and treating abnormal uterine bleeding, pelvic masses or endometriosis.

UH offers the da Vinci robotic surgery system, enabling our specialists to perform advanced gynecologic procedures with pinpoint precision and accuracy. These safe procedures can improve your health and quality of life; for more information, speak to your gynecologist or contact us today!

Thoracic Surgery

Thoracic surgery involves diagnosing and treating issues with the lungs, chest and surrounding organs. It includes surgeries for lung cancer, tumors of the esophagus or thymus glands, rib resections to alleviate TOS symptoms (thoracic outlet syndrome) as well as pulmonary artery stenting to improve breathing or oxygenate the blood.

Thoracic surgeons also treat other diseases of the lungs and chest that do not involve cancer. For instance, thymectomy is surgery to remove the thymus gland for those who have an autoimmune disease such as Myasthenia gravis which increases their likelihood of developing a thymoma, or cancerous tumor of the thymus.

General thoracic surgeons commonly perform robotic surgery procedures such as lung resections, mediastinal mass removal and esophagectomy. This surgical technique has become increasingly popular due to its advantages over open surgery such as high magnification in 3-D visualization, dexterity with seven degrees of freedom and reproducibility once familiarity with the equipment and instruments has been achieved.

Another advantage of robotic surgery is its ease of use. The robotic arm is articulated like the human wrist, enabling surgeons to manipulate it with hand movements similar to those employed in traditional open surgery.

Complicated lung surgery has never been this straightforward. Plus, the robot-mounted camera provides a high definition, magnified three-dimensional view of the chest cavity so surgeons can make operations with greater accuracy.

Due to its less invasive nature than traditional open surgery, robotic surgery reduces post-operative pain and complications. Patients typically go home within a day of the procedure and should be able to resume normal activities within one week; however, this depends on the specific procedure.

Most insurance plans cover minimally invasive surgery, including robotic surgery. However, not everyone is a candidate for robotics and some thoracic conditions may still require video-assisted thoracoscopy or open surgery to treat.

UCSF thoracic surgeons have extensive knowledge and skill in both approaches, helping you decide which is the most suitable choice for your individual case. Together, they will determine if robot-assisted surgery is suitable for you.


Urology is a specialty that addresses the health of men’s bladder, kidneys, prostate and other organs. Urologists specialize in treating urinary tract cancer, bladder stones, urethra (the tube that takes urine from the bladder to outside of the body) problems as well as urinary tract cancer in men.

Robotic surgery has become the go-to choice for many procedures in urology and other surgical fields due to its safety and reduced invasiveness compared to open surgery, which requires large incisions to access the surgical site.

Furthermore, robotic surgery can speed up recovery and enable quicker return to regular activities. But it’s essential that your surgeon has expertise in performing robotic and laparoscopic surgeries so you get the best possible outcomes.

To utilize a robotic system, your urologist first makes one or more small incisions and inserts a thin tube-like device through these openings that connects to the robotic arm.

The robotic arm is equipped with multiple arms with instruments that allow the urologist to manipulate tissues and organs during surgery. The urologist sits at a console some distance away, controlling the robotic arm. An assistant helps shift instruments as needed during their shift.

Before opting for robotic surgery, your doctor will inform you of its advantages and potential drawbacks. They also assess your overall health to determine if this type of procedure is right for you.

If you decide to proceed with the procedure, your urologist will provide instructions on how to prepare and what steps to take afterward. It’s essential that you adhere to these directions in order to guarantee a smooth experience during surgery and avoid any potential issues.

Radiation prostatectomy, the most frequent robotic surgery procedure performed in urology, is an operation to remove prostate cancer. To ensure its safe execution, urologists should conduct standardized training programs, improve reporting systems and enhance patient education to guarantee successful robot-assisted surgery outcomes.


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