Robotic Surgery Frequently Asked
Questions

What is minimally invasive surgery?
Minimally invasive surgeries are a group of procedures performed through
small incisions rather than large ones. The results of minimally invasive
surgery include potentially quicker recovery times, fewer complications,
reduced hospitalization costs and less scarring.

We are no longer limited to traditional surgery through a large abdominal
incision that can be 6–12 inches long, and often result in more complications
and longer recovery time. Using the da Vinci® robot, the procedure can be
completed with  four to six dime-sized incisions and with minimal scarring.

Learn more about how minimally invasive surgery is becoming the new
standard of care at Gwinnett Medical Center–Duluth.

What is robotic surgery?
Operated by board-certified surgeons, the da Vinci Surgical System is designed to provide surgeons with enhanced capabilities, including high-definition 3D vision and a magnified view. Though it is often called a robot, the da Vinci cannot act on its own. Instead, the surgery is performed with unmatched precision entirely by the surgeon. The surgeon controls the robot as it translates his or her hand movements into smaller, more precise movements of the tiny instruments inside the patient’s body. Together, the surgeon and the robot perform complex procedures through just a few tiny openings.

EndoWrist implementation, being used during a procedureA number of procedures that could not be performed using traditional technologies can now be performed using the da Vinci Surgical System. The advanced feature set and extensive EndoWrist instrumentation of the da Vinci Robotic System enable surgeons to perform more procedures through 1–2 centimeter incisions.

What are the benefits of robotic surgery compared to traditional (open) methods of surgery?
Benefits experienced by patients may include:

  • Significantly less pain1
  • Less blood loss and fewer blood transfusions2
  • Minimally invasive surgical option for women with large, numerous or difficult to access fibroids3
  • Fewer complications and lower risk of infection1
  • Shorter hospital stay1
  • Faster recovery and return to normal activities1
  • Small, dime-sized incisions for minimal scarring4
  • Simplifies many existing procedures

 

Benefit Open Surgery da Vinci® Surgery
Incision size Long incision with visible scaring 4-6 dime-sized incisions with minimal scaring
Pain or discomfort Weeks Days
Hospital stay 3–5 days 1–2 days
Recovery 4–6 weeks 1–3 days
Return to normal activities Weeks Days

What are some common procedures performed with robotic surgery?
Gwinnett Medical Center–Duluth surgeons use the da Vinci® robot for:

  • prostatectomies (prostate removal)
  • gynecologic procedures
  • hysterectomies (uterus removal)
  • myomectomies (fibroid tumor removal)

Is robotic surgery covered by insurance?
Robotic surgery is categorized as robot-assisted minimally invasive surgery, so any insurance that covers minimally invasive surgeries generally covers this surgery. This is also true for widely held insurance plans such Medicare. It is important to note that your coverage will depend on your plan and benefits package.

For a physician referral, call 678-312-5000 or click here to find a doctor and search “robotic surgery.”

1Piquion-Joseph JM, Navar A, Ghazaryan A, Papanna R, Klimek W, Laroia R, Robot-assisted gynecological surgery in a community setting; Journal of Robotic Surgery (2009) pp. 1-4
2Visco AG, Advincula AP, Robotic Gynecologic Surgery; Obstetrics and gynecology (2008) 112 (6), pp. 1369-1384 
3Advincula AP, Song A, Burke W, Reynolds RK; Preliminary Experience with Robot-Assisted Laparoscopic Myomectomy; Journal of the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists (2004)11(4):511–518
4www.brighamandwomens.org/patient/robotics

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