As experts in providing Georgians with some of the most advanced minimally-invasive surgical procedures, we have expanded our capabilities to be able to provide our patients with robot-assisted surgery options. Dr. Shady Eldaif is specially trained on robotic surgical technology and provides this less invasive surgical technique to our patients. Robot-assisted surgery uses a state-of-the-art surgical system that enables your surgeon to operate through a few tiny incisions. Its 3D-HD vision system allows surgeons to see key anatomy with great clarity and its unique wristed instruments provide enhanced precision, dexterity and control.
How is the procedure performed?
This procedure is done under general anesthesia (you are asleep and pain-free). The surgeon sits at a computer station nearby and directs the movements of a robot. Small instruments are attached to the robot's arms.
The surgeon first inserts these instruments through small surgical cuts. Under the surgeon's direction, the robot matches the doctor's hand movements to perform the procedure using the tiny instruments. A thin tube with a camera attached to the end of it (endoscope) allows the surgeon to view highly magnified three-dimensional images of your body on a monitor in real time.
Why is robotic surgery performed?
Robotic surgery is a type of procedure that is similar to laparoscopic and thoracoscopic surgery. It also can be performed through smaller surgical cuts than traditional open surgery. The small, precise movements that are possible with this type of surgery give it some advantages over standard endoscopic techniques.
Sometimes robot-assisted thoracoscopy can allow a surgeon to perform a less-invasive procedure that was once only possible with more invasive open surgery. Once it is placed in the chest or abdomen, a robotic arm is easier for the surgeon to use than the instruments in endoscopic surgery.
The robot reduces the surgeon's movements (for example, moving 1/2 inch for every 1 inch the surgeon moves), which reduces some of the hand tremors and movements that might otherwise make the surgery less precise. Also, robotic instruments can access hard-to-reach areas of your body more easily through smaller surgical cuts compared to traditional open and laparoscopic surgery.
During robotic surgery, the surgeon can more easily see the area being operated on. The surgeon is also in a much more comfortable position and can move in a more natural way than during endoscopy. However, robotic surgery can take longer to perform, due to the amount of time needed to set up the robot. Also, the robot is expensive to use and may not be available in many hospitals. We are fortunate that we perform robot-assisted surgeries at Northside Hospital as they have the newest generation of robots for the best patient outcomes.
What are the surgical benefits and recovery benefits of robot-assisted surgery?
Because the surgical cuts are typically smaller than with traditional open surgery, robotic surgery may lead to:
- Less pain and bleeding during surgery may lead to reduced post-surgery pain
- Less blood loss during surgery may lead to less risk of infection
- Fewer and smaller incisions may lead to fewer and smaller scars
- Increased precision in disease resection may lead to reduced post-surgery complications
- A shorter hospital stay may lead to a faster recovery
What thoracic surgeries can be performed robotically?
- Lobectomy, to remove one or more lobes of a lung
- Sublobar lung resections
- Thymectomy for myasthenia gravis
- Diaphragmatic plication for diaphragm disorders
- Esophageal mass resections and duplication cysts
- Giant paraesophageal hernia repair
- Heller myotomy for Achalasia
- Anterior and posterior mediastinal mass resections