Frequently Asked Questions and Answers for Robotic Surgery
- What is a robotic surgical system? How does it work?
The robotic surgical system is a tool that utilizes advanced, robotic technologies to assist your surgeon with your operation. It does not act on its own and its movements are controlled by your surgeon. The surgeon is 100% in control of the robotic-assisted system. The robotic surgical system has a 3D high definition (3D-HD) vision system, special instruments and computer software that allow your surgeon to operate with enhanced vision, precision, dexterity and control. The 3D-HD image can be magnified up to 10 times so your surgeon has a close-up view of the area he or she is operating on. The robotic instruments have mechanical wrists that bend and rotate to mimic the movements of the human wrist -- allowing your surgeon to make small, precise movements inside your body. And, robotic software can minimize the effects of a surgeon's hand tremors on instrument movements. The robotic surgical system is an effective, minimally invasive alternative to both open surgery and laparoscopy.
- What are benefits for surgeons?
Physicians strive to deliver the best care for their patients possible. Robotic surgery is a tool that enables the physician to elevate patient care to a level never known before.
- 10X magnification in 3D allows the physician the clearest, closest view possible
- Greater dexterity completely eliminates any potential tremor or shake
- Superior precision turns each surgical maneuver into precise, micro-movements
- What are benefits for patients?
Because robotic-assisted surgery is conducted by making tiny incisions and making smaller surgical movements, patient benefits are incomparable to traditional surgical methods.
- Tiny incisions and smaller surgical movements mean less pain
- Shortened hospital stays
- Faster road to recovery
- Fewer complications like blood loss and infection
- Is robotic surgery safe?
Over the past decade, hundreds of studies have been published on the use of the robotic surgical system demonstrating improved surgical outcomes when compared to open surgery. To date, more than 1.5 million surgeries have been performed worldwide using the robotic surgical system.
Talk with your doctor about all treatment options, as well as the risks and benefits of each. If surgery is the option you choose, talk with your doctor about whether robotic surgery is right for you. Your doctor's training; experience and judgment are important factors to consider when making this decision.
- Is robotic surgery covered by insurance?
Surgery with the robotic surgical system is a type of minimally invasive surgery. Most insurance plans include robotic surgery in their minimally invasive coverage. Major insurance plans, including United, Aetna and Blue Cross Blue Shield, cover robotic surgery. Check with your insurance provider to confirm coverage.
- Is robotic surgery right for me?
Patients should talk to their doctor to decide if robotic surgery is right for them. Other options may be available and appropriate. Only a doctor can determine whether robotic surgery is appropriate for a patient's situation. Patients and doctors should review all available information on both non-surgical and surgical options in order to make an informed decision.