Robotic Surgery of the Colon & Rectum
No; it is not science fiction! Doctors are actually using robots to perform minimally invasive surgery on the colon and rectum. Robotic colon & rectal surgery is now being used to treat many ailments of the colon and rectum including cancer, diverticulitis and inflammatory bowel disease.
During this surgery, the surgeon makes several tiny incisions on the abdomen and then introduces small instruments and a camera through these holes to work inside the abdomen. The surgeon then connects a Robot to these instruments in order to perform the various steps of the operation. The surgeon sits on a console, away from the patient, and uses his fingers to direct the "robotic arms" to perform fine controlled maneuvers inside the human body.
The use of a robot increases the dexterity of the surgeons hand and allows the surgeon to perform complex maneuvers that may not be possible with traditional laparoscopic or even open surgery. It interposes a computer between the surgeons hand and the patient resulting in refinement of the movements, greater accuracy and better control over instruments. The advanced optical system provides a 3-D highly magnified view of the surgical site.
The Robot also enables the surgeon to work in narrow confined spaces of the pelvis. This has significant advantages in the surgery of the rectum including operations for rectal cancer, rectal prolapse and other benign rectal diseases. The surgeon can remove the tumors in these narrow spaces more effectively with help of the robot. Studies have shown that robot helps in complete circumferential resection of the rectum resulting in better removal of the rectal specimen and therefore lower chances of recurrence of cancer after surgery.
In addition, the better visualization provided by the da Vinci (R) surgical system helps in identification of nerves in the pelvis so that surgeon can avoid injury to these minute nerves during operation. Therefore a nerve sparing rectal resection can be performed resulting in lower incidences of sexual and urinary dysfunction after surgery and better patient satisfaction.
In short, Robotic surgery has been shown to improve clinical outcomes in many cases including cancer surgery. Patients suffer less pain, less blood loss and fewer infections in the wound. They experience quicker return of bowel function and tolerate regular diet earlier than patients undergoing conventional surgery. Many studies have shown that patients undergoing minimally invasive surgery have a shorter hospital stay and recovery time.
Our doctors are fully trained to perform Robotic Colon & Rectal Surgery and minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery.