Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) is a world leader in using state-of-the-art robotics to significantly shorten patient recovery time and to minimize or eliminate the physical challenges presented by traditional laparoscopic (minimally invasive) surgery. As one of the most experienced and diversified robotic surgery providers worldwide, the largest multispecialty robotic surgery program in Boston, and the first center in the Boston region to perform 2,000 robot-assisted surgeries, we are doing everything possible to provide patients with the most appropriate surgical option.
What is robotic surgery?
Robotic surgery uses a combination of high-definition 3D magnification, robotic technology and miniature instruments to enhance surgical skills.
BWH uses two FDA-approved da Vinci® Surgical Systems to perform a variety of minimally invasive robotic procedures. Each system consists of a surgeon’s console, equipped with a control panel and a hi-definition monitor, and a patient side-cart, outfitted with robotic arms and attended by another surgeon and a nurse at the operating table.
Traditional open surgery often requires larger incisions, but only small incisions are needed for the da Vinci’s robotic arms and tiny surgical tools. There are four robotic arms, which, unlike traditional minimally invasive surgical instruments, are all wristed – one equipped with a high definition 3-D magnification camera, two that act as the surgeon’s arms and an optional fourth arm that is used for holding back tissue. The camera gives the surgeon enhanced detail, true depth of field and a panoramic view. The robotic hands precisely replicate the surgeon’s hand movements while smoothing out hand tremors and scaling movements as needed. The surgical console’s ergonomics also help to ease surgeon fatigue.
The surgeon remotely guides the robotic arms while seated at the console, located a short distance away from the patient. These smooth and effortless movements, along with the wristed capabilities of the robotic arms, are the most significant advantages that robotic surgery has over traditional minimally invasive surgical procedures.
You can see how smoothly and accurately the surgeon’s movements are replicated by the robotic arms by watching the da Vinci Technology Overview video. For a more-detailed view of the robotic arms and hands in action, watch close-up video clips of a robotic prostatectomy performed at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
Visit the Robotic Surgery Videos page for a complete selection of our robotic surgery videos.
What are the benefits of robotic surgery?
Robotic surgery’s miniaturization, increased range of motion, enhanced vision and mechanical precision offer significant benefits for our patients, such as:
Less post-surgical pain/less medication
This page was last modified on 9/18/2015