Robotic-assisted surgery is the latest development in minimally invasive surgery (MIS). It provides surgeons the flexibility of traditional open surgery while operating through tiny incisions, which can lead to fewer complications during surgery and a shorter recovery period for patients.
Robotic-assisted surgery systems integrate robotics, computer technology and surgical skill to transform traditionally invasive surgeries into minimally invasive procedures. Though surgeons have been using robots to assist in surgical procedures since the 1980s, many advances in robotic technologies have taken place more recently.
Robotic-assisted surgery involves the use of robotic equipment to make tiny incisions (one to two centimeters in length) during surgery. An HD 3-D camera is then inserted, allowing surgeons to manipulate four thin robotic arms with miniaturized instruments.
In control the entire time, surgeons use hand and foot controls at a nearby console unit, which provides 3D, high-definition view of the surgical field. Robotic-assisted surgery can simulate a traditional open surgical environment without causing unnecessary physical trauma from large incisions.
One of the latest advances in robotic-assisted surgery provides a platform for future procedures such as single site surgery and immunofluorescent technology, a laboratory technique that combines specific antibodies with fluorescence imaging techniques to identify target proteins and other biomolecules within tissue samples.
By ensuring that physical trauma due to incisions is minimal, patients are also able to recover much faster than with traditional surgery. Depending on the surgical procedure performed, some patients may need to stay at the hospital for only a day or two, while others may be able to leave the hospital that same day. Most patients fully recover from surgery in as few as six weeks.
Robotic-assisted surgery can be used to perform a variety of procedures for qualified candidates. Some of the procedures offered at Memorial Hermann include:
Other robotic-assisted systems used in knee replacement can be less invasive than traditional total knee surgery and involve using a highly advanced, surgeon-controlled robotic arm system.
Learn more about this advanced technology and find out if you’re a candidate by visiting our Knee Replacement surgery page and taking our candidate quiz.
The Memorial Hermann Surgical Innovation & Robotics Institute is the largest training site for robotic surgery in the nation and the only one in the southwest. Since January 2003, the Institute has trained numerous surgical teams from around the country to perform robotic-assisted surgery. By utilizing simulation technology, surgeons are able to further refine their surgical skills in a non-clinical environment.
With over 10,000 minimally invasive procedures already performed at our hospitals and state-of-the-art training simulators, the affiliated general surgeons at Memorial Hermann have helped make robotic-assisted surgery an incredibly safe and viable alternative for our patients.
Robotic-assisted surgery is available at Memorial Hermann hospitals throughout the Greater Houston area, including:
To find out if robotic-assisted or other types of minimally invasive surgery are right for you, speak to your physician. They can explain the benefits and risks associated with all surgical procedures, and provide you with the surgical and non-surgical options available to help you make an informed decision about your health.