Robotic surgery is a new minimally invasive approach to laparoscopic colorectal surgery. With this innovative technology, colorectal surgeons can gain more vision and operate with better precision and control.
How does it work?
In traditional laparoscopic surgery, the surgeon operates while standing using a standard 2D video monitor to visualize the abdominal cavity. Straight, hand held instruments that do not bend are used to perform the operation.
With robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgery, the surgeon makes a few small incisions that are used to introduce a magnified, high-definition, 3D camera and special robotic instruments that bend and rotate similar to a human wrist into the abdominal cavity. The surgeon operates from a seated position at a console positioned a few feet from the patient using special controls to manipulate the instruments inside the patient. The system translates, in real time, the surgeon’s hand, wrist and finger movements into precise movements of the instruments inside the patient. This state-of-the-art technology overcomes many limitations of both laparoscopic and traditional open surgery. Your surgeon is 100% in control of the robotic system at all times. The robotic system cannot make any maneuvers on it’s own.
What are the benefits of robotic surgery?
Many of the same benefits seen with laparoscopic surgery apply to robotic surgery including reduced postoperative pain, faster recovery, shorter hospital stay, earlier return to routine daily activities and improved cosmetic results.
In addition, with robotic-assisted surgery, improved visibility and ability to make small maneuvers in a confined space such as the pelvis is especially important for conditions such as rectal cancer, IBD, rectal prolapse and enterocele. In addition, Firefly ™ fluorescence imaging is a new technology incorporated into the robotic system where a special video and dye are used to evaluate the blood supply to the tissues that one could not see with the naked eye. This is especially important in colorectal surgery because it allows better evaluation of the blood supply to the bowel ends being reconnected. Since inadequate blood supply is one of the main factors resulting in leaks at the connection points, the use of Firefly ™ may reduce the chance of a leak.
What are the risks of robotic surgery?
For most patients the risks of robotic surgery are similar to those of laparoscopic and open surgery including the risks of anesthesia, bleeding, infection, unintended injury to other organs, and any additional risks of colorectal surgery such as leak at the bowel connection point. In certain patients with severe decompensated cardiopulmonary disease or in the emergency setting, traditional open surgery may be better tolerated.
Dr. Zaghiyan’s top priority is the safety and well being of her patients. For every individual being evaluated for surgery, Dr. Zaghiyan will take into account the patient’s overall condition in determining the best operative approach. For a complete evaluation and treatment recommendations call to make an appointment with Dr. Zaghiyan in her office in Los Angeles.