ASK DR NOVOA – What is your opinion about ROBOTIC SURGERY?

Robotic Surgery or Robotic Assisted Laparoscopic Surgery is, in my opinion, a technology looking for a surgical procedure. The da Vinci Robotic device is one of the newest technologies promoted as the next generation of superior technology offered to women for minimally invasive surgery. Unfortunately, I would have to disagree. Although the da Vinci is an excellent device for complex surgical procedures to include the management of cancer, in most uncomplicated surgical diagnoses, it is “over-kill”. The device generally requires more time to set up, longer operating room time, the placement of more trocar port sites, and is more expensive. In most cases, a well trained laparoscopic surgeon can perform most GYN surgical procedures with traditional laparoscopic techniques thus avoiding the placement of larger and more port sites which inevitably lead to more pain and more scarring. Also, most doctors performing da Vinci assisted procedures are still on a “learning curve” which can put patients at risk for complications. It makes me extremely angry when I see a patient come in for a consult after a da Vinci procedure and I have to tell her that she could have had the procedure done in the traditional manner with a better outcome. So, before deciding on a da Vinci procedure, go see an expert in laparoscopy who can do the procedure with fewer instruments with lower risks and less cost.

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Filed under Blog, Gynecology, Questions of the Day

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