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    How Robotic Surgery Works

    Watch our video on how robotic surgery works:



    Robotic surgery is explained by California robotic surgeons at Mills-Peninsula Medical Center








    The da Vinci® Si system is a computer-enhanced surgical instrument that enables surgeons to perform incredibly precise, safe, and minimally invasive procedures. Though it is often called a "robot," the surgeries performed on the da Vinci Si system are performed entirely by the surgeon assisted by a medical team. A more appropriate description of the surgeries would be "robot-assisted" surgeries.

    The system consists of an ergonomic console from which the surgeon performs the surgery, a patient-side cart with four interactive robotic arms, a 3D HD vision system and miniaturized wrist-controlled instruments. The system is designed to seamlessly and very effectively translate the surgeon's hand movements into the more precise movements of the instrument tips.

    The high-resolution 3D stereo viewer provides surgeons with an immersive experience, showing the target anatomy at high magnification and with a natural depth of field. Operating through a few small incisions, the surgeon uses the console's master controls to maneuver the four robotic arms, three of which contain integrated operating instruments and the fourth a high-resolution camera. The instruments' jointed-wrist design has a wide range of motion that exceeds that of the human hand. Motion scaling and tremor reduction further interpret and refine the surgeon's hand movements. The da Vinci® Si system also has built-in multiple redundant safety features designed to minimize risks associated with both machine and human error.

    With this particular version of the da Vinci® (the "Si") a computerized "skills simulator" is available for surgeons, which uses the same operating console with a computer simulated operating environment. The simulator allows surgeons to train and practice their skills in a non-clinical environment and even "warm up" for a surgery.

    Surgeon at Robotic Surgery instrument

    Robotic surgery has been used successfully worldwide in hundreds of thousands of procedures to date. Surgeons can perform a variety of robot-assisted surgeries, and this type of surgery has replaced many traditional surgical techniques because of its benefits. The new da Vinci® Si also allows surgeons to perform safe and effective "single site surgery" using a specially designed robotic arm. Single site surgery is performed through one small incision, leaving little to no scarring.

    Robotic surgery can be used to remove and repair organs and is frequently used to remove tumors of all types such as thoracic, liver, gastric, biliary and colorectal tumors. If you are a candidate for surgery, please consult with your doctor to see if you are a candidate for robot-assisted surgery.