Robotic Surgery – General

Surgery may be done with traditional open surgery through one large incision (cut). Many can also be done with minimally invasive surgery through a few small incisions using laparoscopy or your surgery can be performed using the da Vinci Surgery.

The da Vinci System is a robotic-assisted surgical device that your surgeon is 100% in control of at all times. It has a 3D HD vision system that gives doctors a magnified view inside the body. It also has tiny instruments that bend and rotate far greater than the human hand. These features enable surgeons to operate with enhanced vision, precision and control.

Some of the more common general surgeries that can be done using robotic surgery include:

Gallbladder Disease

A gallbladder is an organ located just beneath your liver that stores bile to aid in digesting fat. Gallbladder disease may include inflammation, infection, or blockage of the gallbladder. A blockage may occur from gallstones which lodge in a duct. Gallstones can develop as a single stone or several at a time and can range is size.

Symptoms of gallbladder disease may include:

  • Pain in the upper right side or middle of the abdomen
  • Abdominal fullness
  • Clay-colored stool
  • Fever
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Yellowing of skin and whites of eyes (jaundice)

Some gallstones may not produce any symptoms and do not need to be treated. Gallbladder disease can often be treated with lifestyle changes and medicine. When these treatments are not successful, your doctor may recommend surgery to remove your gallbladder.

Colon Disease

The colon and rectum are part of your large intestine. Their main purpose is to process and pass waste from your body. Common conditions that may affect your colon include: diverticulitis, colon cancer, or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) which includes ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. If you have one of these conditions and if medicine and lifestyle changes do not ease your symptoms, your doctor may suggest surgery. This surgery is called a colectomy. The surgeon removes the diseased part of your colon and connects the healthy bowel that remains.

Gastro-esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

If you suffer from acid reflux and your symptoms cannot be eased with medicine or lifestyle changes, your physician may recommend surgery. Surgery to treat GERD is called Nissen fundoplication. This is a procedure in which the surgeon wraps the upper portion of the stomach around the base of the esophagus (the long, muscular tube that connects your throat to your stomach). Doing so strengthens the lower esophageal sphincter—a ring of muscle that normally prevents reflux of gastric contents into the esophagus. When people have GERD, one of the main contributors is that the lower esophageal sphincter is too relaxed. This allows the gastric contents, which are often acidic, to ride up the esophagus and cause discomfort. When Nissen fundoplication is performed, the lower esophageal sphincter is reconstructed and tightened.

Paraesophageal Hernia

Although Nissen fundoplication is highly effective at treating GERD, it’s more frequently performed to treat GERD in conjunction with a paraesophageal hernia, which often occur together. A paraesophageal hernia occurs when part of your stomach pushes up into your diaphragm muscle. When patients have both GERD and a hernia, your surgeon repairs the hernia by inserting permanent stitches to close the opening in the diaphragm through which the stomach and any other organs have moved, and then wraps the stomach around the esophagus.

Inguinal and Incisional Hernias

An inguinal hernia occurs when tissue, such as part of the intestine, protrudes through a weak spot in the abdominal muscles, in the groin area. An incisional hernia is tissue that pushes into an incision made during an abdominal or pelvic surgery. The resulting bulge can be painful, especially when you cough, bend over or lift a heavy object.  These types of hernias do not improve on their own, and can lead to complications if left untreated.  Most often surgery is recommended to fix these types of hernias if they are painful or enlarging. Hernia repair is a common surgical procedure and may be done robotically.

Read more about the benefits of robotic surgery.

Potential Benefits for You

  • Speedy recovery
  • Less pain
  • Less risk of complications
  • Reduced blood loss
  • Quicker return to daily activities

Details on Robotic Surgery

Frequently Asked Questions

Patient Story

Kathleen Donato underwent o robotic-assisted laparoscopic colectomyRobotic-assisted Laparoscopic Colectomy
Kathleen will never forget what it was like in the early days of her colon cancer diagnosis. Although she tried to act upbeat, it was as if a fog had descended over her world. She credits Patrick McEnaney, MD with saving her life. He performed a robotic-assisted laparoscopic colectomy to remove a portion of her colon. Read Kathleen's story.

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