NAPLES, Fla. — Doctors at NCH Healthcare System say using robotic surgery is more efficient than doing typical laparoscopic procedures.
"The difference between robotic and laparoscopic is night and day,” Dr. Robert Grossman said.
He said during a typical laparascopic surgery, narrow tubes are inserted into a patient's body through tiny incisions in the abdomen. Surgical tools, including a camera, are then inserted so doctors can do minimally invasive procedures. Dr. Grossman said robotic surgery is similar, but it's even less invasive.
"The size if of the incision is about eight millimeters," he said.
And he told Fox 4 the tools are even easier for doctors to use.
“For laparoscopic, we're sort of stuck with long, thin, narrow metal instruments, and they work exceptionally well. But you're limited in terms of how you move. It's sort of like using a long thin chopstick," he said. "If I want to move the instrument down, I have to move my hand up. If I want to move the instrument up, I have to move my hand down. Left is right, right is left, and that takes some getting used to."
But he said the Da Vinci Surgical System eliminates that.
"It mimics your hand movements in real time. It makes it a lot easier, much quicker to pick up because you're mimicking your normal, natural day-to-day movements," Dr. Grossman said.
He controls the robotic arms using devices on his fingers and pedals at his feet. He sees everything he's doing in the abdomen by looking into a console that shows a 3-D view.
"You get much better visualizations compared to the standard laparoscope, where you're basically just seeing a two-dimensional image. But this one, there's actually two cameras on the end of my robotic camera," Dr. Grossman said. "So you get actual depth perception, which is a big issue with laparoscopic surgery.”
He said because robotic surgery is even less invasive, patients can go home within 24 hours; sometimes, the same day.
"They also have significantly less pain, they're significantly less blood loss. Less need for narcotics. It's overall a much more well-tolerated procedure," Dr. Grossman said. "It's a huge leap forward, and it'll be very exciting to see what the next ten or 15 years bring."