Frequently Asked Questions

What is minimally invasive surgery?

Minimally invasive surgery is performed through several small incisions, rather than a large incision, resulting in potentially shorter recovery times, fewer complications, reduced hospital stay and reduced trauma to the patient. 

What is da Vinci robotic surgery?

The da Vinci robotic surgery is a new category of minimally invasive surgery using the latest state-of-the-art technology. With da Vinci, the surgeon controls the movement of miniaturized, wristed instruments designed to help doctors take surgery beyond the limits of the human hand. The surgeon works from a console where he can view a highly magnified, 3D image of the surgical site. It gives the surgeon improved access, much greater dexterity and range of motion, extraordinary surgical precision and remarkable high resolution vision. These benefits allow surgeons to successfully perform complex surgical procedures with a minimally invasive approach.

Why do we need a new way to do minimally invasive surgery?

Despite the widespread use of minimally invasive or laparoscopic surgery, adoption of laparoscopic techniques has been limited to a few routine procedures. This is due mostly to the limited capabilities of traditional laparoscopic technology.

In traditional open surgery, the physician makes a long incision and then widens it to access the anatomy. In traditional minimally invasive surgery, the surgeon operates using rigid, hand-operated instruments, which are passed through small incisions and views the anatomy on a standard video monitor. Neither this laparoscopic instrumentation nor the video monitor can provide the surgeon with the excellent visualization needed to perform complex surgery.

What are the benefits of da Vinci Surgery compared with traditional methods of surgery?

Some of the major benefits experienced by surgeons using the da Vinci Surgical System over traditional approaches have been greater surgical precision, increased range of motion, improved dexterity, enhanced visualization and improved access. Benefits experienced by patients may include a shorter hospital stay, less pain, less risk of infection, less blood loss, fewer transfusions, less scarring, much faster recovery and a quicker return to normal daily activities. For single-site robotic surgery, of course the biggest additional benefit is virtually no scarring.

What are the benefits of the da Vinci Xi™ compared to the Si™ robotic system?

Some of the major benefits of the Xi™ include:

A new overhead architecture that allows for greater range of motion and reach- One of the most exciting advances in the new Xi™ is the ability of the robotic arms and table to automatically adjust and move to virtually any angle and location the surgeon requires. With previous models, the robot would have to be redocked, or moved into the correct surgical position manually. This means a more seamless and quicker surgery with possibly fewer incisions.

Expanded task capabilities- The Xi™ gives surgeons the ability to complete tasks during surgery that were unavailable before such as stapling within the abdomen.

Firefly™ Fluorescence Imaging System- This new imaging technology, which utilizes near infrared imaging, enables surgeons to see and assess anatomy better than the naked eye. Using a special video camera and glowing dye, surgeons are able to identify certain important structures and assess vessels and blood flow to certain tissues.

Improved visual definition and clarity- The Xi™ includes improved high-definition 3-D vision, a magnified view of the body, greater dexterity and unmatched precision.

Less invasive surgery- Though it’s hard to believe, this highly advanced system makes smaller incisions than its predecessor.

What procedures are being performed using the da Vinci Surgical System at Milford Regional Medical Center?

The da Vinci System is a robotic surgical platform designed to enable complex procedures to be performed through 1-2 cm incisions. Currently, our robotic surgeons are performing prostatectomy, hysterectomy, myomectomy, endometriosis resection, cholecystectomy (gall bladder removal), colorectal, hernia repair and vertical sleeve weight loss surgery. Experts in robotic thoracic surgery will be joining us very soon!  See our urologic robotic surgeons, gynecologic robotic surgeons, general robotic surgeons and weight loss surgeons for more information.

Is da Vinci Surgery covered by insurance?

Da Vinci Surgery is categorized as robotic-assisted minimally invasive surgery, so any insurance that covers minimally invasive surgery generally covers da Vinci Surgery. This is true for widely held insurance plans like Medicare. It is important to note that your coverage will depend on your plan and benefits package. You should call your insurance company directly to find out what is covered.

Will the da Vinci Surgical System make the surgeon unnecessary?

On the contrary, the da Vinci System enables surgeons to be more precise, advancing their technique and enhancing their capability in performing complex minimally invasive surgery. The System replicates the surgeon’s movements in real time. It cannot be programmed, nor can it make decisions on its own to move in any way or perform any type of surgical maneuver without the surgeon’s input.

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