Robotic vs Laparoscopic Surgery

Both traditional laparoscopy and robotic-assisted surgery are forms of minimally invasive surgery, but there is a difference between the two.

In traditional laparoscopic surgery, the surgeon performs the procedure holding rigid instruments while viewing the surgical area through an endoscopic camera that projects the images onto a monitor. The tools move in the opposite direction of the surgeon's hands due to the pivot point design. The tools used in traditional laparoscopy have four degrees of movement.

With the da Vinci® Surgical System, the surgeon sits at a console while viewing a high-definition, 3D image of the targeted area inside the patient’s body. The surgeon grasps the master controls connected to three or four robotic arms, which hold an endoscope (camera) and surgical instruments. The system seamlessly translates the surgeon's hand, wrist and finger movements into precise, real-time movement of the surgical instruments positioned inside the patient’s body. These instruments can bend and rotate at far greater degrees than both traditional laparoscopic instruments and the human wrist. The robotic arms also filter out any hand tremors the surgeon may have.

Every surgical maneuver is under the direct control of the surgeon. This means that more complex surgeries often done in an open procedure can be performed robotically with a less invasive approach. The surgeon controls more aspects of the operation including visualizing and exposing the surgical area, which in open surgery is performed by the surgical assistant.

Both traditional laparoscopy and robotic-assisted surgery have their appropriate uses for different types of surgical procedures. Your South Lake Hospital doctor can explain the best surgical options for your specific needs.