Does My Surgeon Still Have Control During Robotic Surgery?

Does My Surgeon Still Have Control During Robotic Surgery?

Robotic surgery is increasingly popular for many general surgical procedures, including colectomy, hernia repair, and even certain types of bariatric surgery. Using the precise, fine movements of robotic arms, your specially trained surgeon can repair damaged tissue or remove unhealthy organs. 

While the surgery you need is necessary for your health in some way, you might have a few reservations about robotic surgery if you’ve never undergone this type of procedure or even heard of its existence before now. 

At our offices in Dallas and McKinney, Texas, bariatric, general, and laparoscopic surgeon Michael Sutker, MD, PA, uses the da Vinci® robot-assisted surgery system for numerous routine surgeries. 

Here’s what you should know about this innovative and highly effective surgical approach.

An extension of your surgeon’s own hands

One common question about robotic surgery is whether it’s the surgeon — or a robot — that’s in control during this type of procedure. It’s important to trust the surgeon in charge of your treatment, and you may have even weighed several options in an attempt to find the best possible surgeon for the job. 

The term “robotic surgery” suggests that a robot performs the surgery itself. While robots and other forms of artificial intelligence (AI) have certainly come a long way in the past few years, surgical robots are made to be guided; unlike humans, they still can’t use their best judgment in case of a complication.

Fortunately, robots aren’t in charge of robotic surgery. Indeed, a better name for the technique is robot-assisted surgery. 

Dr. Sutker uses the robotic surgical system to augment his own vision and movements as he makes repairs. The da Vinci system is more like an extension of Dr. Sutker’s own hands, under his full control, which he guides to make delicate and ultra-precise movements. 

What actually happens during robotic surgery is called human-to-machine synchronization, meaning it’s a method that involves machine action through a surgeon’s manipulations. 

The many benefits of robotic surgery

Robotic surgery always uses a minimally invasive, laparoscopic technique, so incisions are small and heal up much faster than conventional open-surgery incisions. The da Vinci surgical system has a camera arm that produces live, magnified 3D images as well as several other arms that are outfitted with specialized surgical tools.

While performing your surgery, Dr. Sutker sits at a console alongside the surgical table. From there, he controls each of the arms of the machine through a computer. Because of its precise nature, robotic surgery is available for some procedures that are much riskier without the robot’s assistance. 

The primary benefits of robotic surgery are:

Dr. Sutker himself has gone through rigorous training for robotic surgeries and has performed over 1,800 robot-assisted procedures to date. He is a master user of the system and can confidently tell you whether or not robotic surgery is the best possible technique for your next treatment.

Find out more about how robotic surgery works

If you need bariatric or general surgery in the near future and would like to find out how the da Vinci robot-assisted surgical system can help, get in touch with your nearest Michael Sutker, MD, PA, office in Dallas or McKinney, Texas. Simply schedule a visit over the phone today, or use the easy online booking feature to make an appointment with Dr. Sutker any time. 

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