About Robotic Surgery

Is It Right for Me?

Thinking about any surgery can make you feel nervous. The option of the da Vinci® Xi Surgical System can feel better to many people, especially when looking at the benefits of robotic surgery. There are a number of people who could see an excellent outcome from this less invasive surgical option:

  • Older patients who are over the age of 60 can see better heart and lung function after robotic surgery. They also usually have a shorter hospital stay. A faster recovery without as many complications is good for older patients.
  • Career-aged adults also can benefit from a shorter hospital stay and quick recovery. Often, this age group has a busy life with many responsibilities. Getting back on their feet sooner rather than later is important.
  • Patients who need commonly performed surgeries like gallbladder removal can benefit from the robotic surgery technique. Again, the quick recovery time is a benefit, even if you’ve had a fairly simple surgery.
  • Patients who need complex surgery like heart surgery, chest surgery, or surgery of the liver, pancreas or other organs can have robotic surgery. More involved surgeries like these can be less invasive when performed with the da Vinci® Surgical System. In a more complex surgical procedure, lowering the risks becomes even more important.
  • Patients who need colorectal surgery are often good candidates for robotic surgery. The smaller incisions used during robotic surgery are especially helpful when operating on the small or large intestines.
  • Bariatric surgery candidates can also see good results from robotic surgery. Obesity is a high risk factor for open surgery.

Who Is Not a Robotic Surgery Candidate?

Just as not everyone should have open surgery, there are some people who may not be good candidates for robotic surgery. Your doctor may recommend against robotic surgery if:

  • You are not a good candidate for laparoscopic surgery, which is in many ways similar to robotic surgery
  • You can’t go under general anesthesia
  • You have scar tissue or other blockages that prevent the cameras from seeing the surgical area well enough
  • You have cirrhosis (advanced liver disease)
  • You have bleeding problems that could make any surgery risky

In some of these cases, your doctor may suggest having traditional surgery instead.

Your Surgery Choice

The decision to have robotic surgery, open surgery or any surgery at all is one that you should make with your doctor. This choice comes down to what will give you the best health outcome. Most of the time, the answer is different for every person. For example, while some obese patients can have robotic bariatric surgery, others may not be good candidates for any surgical procedure.

Together, you and your surgeon can talk about what’s best for you. If you are interested in robotic surgery, look for a doctor who is trained in the da Vinci® Xi Surgical System. Experience is important in all aspects of surgery for the best results, and that includes robotic surgery too.

Please contact your doctor to learn more about robotic surgery and find out if you may be a candidate for surgery using the da Vinci® Xi Surgical System. Our doctors perform robotic surgery for people in Austin and throughout Central Texas.