Surgery can be a process that lasts hours followed by weeks or months of recovery time. With advancements in technology, many hospitals offer Robotic Surgery.
It is an alternative to traditional surgery with benefits to the patient both during surgery and after.
Gundersen Health System has been using Robotic Surgery since 2007. The technique has been used for specific operations, and now, it is being used to perform general surgery including a hernia repair.
Robotic Surgery is minimally invasive. Much of the operation is done remotely by a surgeon moving the robotic arms. Those arms are connected to three ports in the patients abdomen.
With the robotic technology, the surgeon has more mobility than possible with human hands. There is also an added level of precision because of the clarity in the monitors and console.
"The technology allows us as surgeons to be able to move our wrists whereas traditional laparoscopic surgery basically is a straight movement with the instruments," said Dr. Dana Benden, surgeon at Gundersen Health System. "So, sometimes when we have to get into small spaces, robotics affords us a little bit more mobility, and we're able to do more complex dissections."
Robotic Surgery also has benefits for the patient. Dr. Benden says patients generally experience less bleeding and leave the hospital faster than they would in a traditional operation.
Gundersen Health System currently has two robotic consoles available for surgery.
"We have surgeons that are maybe learning robotics or are new to robotics, so we have two consoles so that the surgeons can learn from each other and work together to do cases as they're just getting started," Benden said.
Patients are encouraged to talk to their health care provider to learn more about Robotic Surgery. Most health care plans that cover minimally invasive surgery will also cover this method of operation; however, it is always best to check with your provider ahead of time.