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Robotic surgery with the da Vinci robot

A surgical tool that can help surgeons to be more precise

Surgeon performing robotic surgery with the da Vinci robot
Robotic surgery is more accurately described as robot-assisted surgery, because surgical robots don't actually perform the operation. They are a tool used by experienced human surgeons in the operating room in order to help procedures go as well as possible.

There are many different surgical robots on the market, and the technology has actually been in use since the 1980s. Each model will work slightly differently, but in general the robots are used because they can make smaller and more precise movements than are possible otherwise. This can allow for more precision during surgery and in some cases smaller incisions, and can offer benefits such as reduced pain, faster recovery and better long-term outcomes.

The da Vinci surgical robot is a market-leading, cutting-edge machine designed to make surgery as successful as possible.

The robot consists of a series of mechanical arms, which are linked to a console controlled by your surgeon. The system translates the surgeon's hand movements in real time, so that the robotic arms move in the same way. The robotic instruments of the da Vinci move like a human hand and wrist, but they have a greater range of motion and can make smaller movements. So, your surgeon can use the da Vinci robotic system to make smaller and more accurate movements than possible with their own hands. This allows them to be more precise than ever during surgery.

Surgery using the da Vinci is minimally invasive surgery, performed without the need to 'open you up'. The system features tiny surgical instruments that can be inserted through one or a few very small incisions, along with a camera that allows them to watch everything that's happening via high-definition, 3D real-time image.

The main benefits of the da Vinci robotic system stem from the fact that it allows surgeons to use smaller and more precise movements. This allows us to perform minimally invasive surgery in more instances than we would be able to otherwise. It can allow for greater precision during surgery, enhancing surgical accuracy and improving outcomes. In some cases, the robot allows us to perform surgical procedures that would not be possible or advisable without the technology.

The potential benefits of minimally invasive surgery compared to open surgery include:

  • Smaller incisions and less scarring
  • Less blood loss
  • Reduced postoperative pain
  • Reduced hospital stay
  • Faster recovery and return to normal activities
  • Fewer complications

These benefits are further enhanced by the use of da Vinci robotics.

Benefits specific to surgery with the da Vinci system include:

  • Further reduced risk of blood loss
  • Less damage to surrounding tissue and nerves
  • Lower risk of infection
  • Further reduced hospital stay and recovery times
  • Better patient outcomes
  • The ability to use robotic techniques for more complex and delicate procedures

The da Vinci surgical system is designed to assist in a wide range of types of surgery. Typically, it is used in laparoscopic surgery. At Circle Health Group, our consultant surgeons use the robot to support with:

Robotic prostatectomy is a well-established surgical practice and has been shown to offer better overall outcomes in terms of urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction compared to non-robotic surgical techniques.

In 2020, 89% of prostatectomies in England were carried out using the da Vinci surgical system.

Mr Adam Brooks, a consultant general surgeon at The Park Hospital, answers common questions about robotic hernia surgery.

What are the benefits of using the da Vinci robot to perform hernia surgery?

"The main benefits are vision, precision and dexterity. The surgical view is magnified 10 times, allowing us to see structures that are invisible even laparoscopically. The hernia repair can be undertaken precisely with exact placement of the mesh. Movements are finer, providing significantly more operative dexterity, which improves safety and reduces the impact on the incisions we make into your skin, which can in turn reduce postoperative pain."

Does the procedure work differently?

"For groin hernia surgery, which is typically performed laparoscopically, the operation is similar. However, the finer and more precise dissection as well as accurate mesh placement, and the benefits of robotic suturing, make the robotic procedure far better.

"Robotic surgery for larger abdominal wall hernias and incisional hernias is significantly different from open surgery, which is how it has traditionally been performed. The da Vinci allows us to offer minimal access surgery, which brings with it less pain,  more rapid recovery and excellent aesthetic results."

What types of hernia can be treated using this technology?

"All groin hernias and most abdominal wall and incisional hernias can be repaired robotically."

Mr Adam Brooks, a consultant general surgeon at The Park Hospital, answers common questions about robotic gallbladder removal surgery, also known as a laparoscopic or robotic cholecystectomy.

What are the benefits of robotic gallbladder removal surgery using the da Vinci?

"The precise movements of the instruments and the enhanced magnification of the surgical view improve the safety of the operation, whilst the ability to deploy fluorescent imaging helps identify critical structures.

"I would always use the robot now to perform cases where I would previously have used laparoscopic surgery. And I am also able to undertake many more cases robotically (and therefore minimally invasively) that I would not previously have been able to do laparoscopically."

Does the procedure work differently?

"The technique to remove a gallbladder using the da Vinci is a very similar operation to laparoscopic surgery, however the robot gives us the ability to complete the procedure in a more controlled environment, with better vision, dexterity and precision."

Circle Health Group's da Vinci robots are located at The Park Hospital in Nottingham, Ross Hall Hospital in Glasgow, and The Alexandra Hospital in Cheadle. These are the only private hospital outside of London to have these robots.

If you think you could benefit from robotic surgery, give us a call or book online for an initial consultation with one of our talented surgeons.

You don't need to live locally to have treatment with us. We also welcome patients from further afield and many people travel to The Park Hospital, Ross Hall Hospital or The Alexandra Hospital to take advantage of our da Vinci robotic surgical systems, from places across the UK and even abroad.

At Circle Health Group, we have the experience and expertise to ensure the best possible care and outcome for our patients. As a patient with Circle Health Group, you can expect the highest standards of care including:

  • Flexible appointment times and locations that are convenient for you
  • The freedom to choose which hospital and consultant suit your needs
  • Personalised, consultant-led treatment plans tailored to your individual needs
  • Comfortable and safe private facilities maintained by expert multidisciplinary teams
  • Private ensuite rooms as standard
  • A range of delicious healthy meals
  • Affordable, fixed-price packages with aftercare included
  • Flexible payment options to help you spread the cost of your care

If you would like to see a consultant or learn more about robotic surgery, book your appointment online today or call a member of our team directly.

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