What to Expect During Robotic Surgery

During the Procedure

The doctor will cut several small keyhole openings in the skin near where the surgery will take place. In most cases, a needle will be used to inject carbon dioxide gas into the surgical area. This gas will make it easier for the doctor to see internal structures. Next, the doctor will pass a small camera, called an endoscope, through one of the incisions. The camera will light, magnify, and project an image of the organs onto a video screen. Then robotic arms holding instruments for grasping, cutting, dissecting, and suturing will be inserted through the holes.

While sitting at a console near the operating table, the doctor will look through lenses at a magnified 3D image of the inside of the body. With joystick-like controls and foot pedals, the doctor will guide the robotic arms and tools. Lastly, the tools will be removed, and stitches or staples will be used to close the area.

After the Procedure

You will have pain and discomfort during recovery. Your doctor will give you pain medicine. You may also feel bloated or have pain in your shoulder from the gas used during the procedure. This can last up to three days.

Procedures done with the da Vinci Surgical System take place at Memorial Hospital of Carbondale.The usual length of stay is a few days. Your doctor may choose to keep you longer if you have any problems.