Robotic Surgery

The da Vinci Surgical System is powered by state-of-the art robotic technology. Some people argue that it is a highly sophisticated computer rather than a robot as it does not make decisions on its own. Rather, it works as a "master-slave" system whereby the surgeon sitting comfortably at a console controls the movements of the robot. The da Vinci allows your surgeon's hand movements to be scaled, filtered and translated into precise movements of micro-instruments within the operative site.

The special characteristics of the da Vinci system are:
1. 3D camera rather than 2D vision of traditional key hole surgery
2. 10 times magnified vision
3. Wrist like micro-instruments with 540 degree motion allowing the surgeon to translate his hand movements without making a large open incision
4. Tremor filtration

The commonest use of this surgical robot world-wide is in radical prostatectomy or localised prostate cancer. Open surgery to remove the prostate gland can result in substantial blood loss, longer hospital stay, more pain, impotence and incontinence. Robotic assisted radical prostatectomy can provide a number of advantages for the patient which include:

1. Shorter hospital stay
2. Less pain
3. Less risk of infection
4. Less blood loss and transfusions
5. Faster full recovery
6. Better cancer control and potency depending on the degree of sparing of nerves behind the prostate which are important for erections
7. Better cosmetic result as the surgery is performed through small key-holes

Prokar Dasgupta pioneered robotic urological surgery in UK with the da Vinci System at Guy's Hospital London. He also performs robotic surgery in particular robotic radical prostatectomy at The London Clinic, 20 Devonshire Place, London. 
Matthew Bultitude,
6 Nov 2009, 14:11