What is robotic surgery?
Robotic surgery in Australia involves using the DaVinci® robotic system. It is similar to laparoscopic surgery except that the surgeon does most of the operation controlling the surgical instruments via a surgical console. It is another example of Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS). MIS has several proven advantages over open surgery including reduced postoperative pain, shorter hospital stay, improved cosmesis and faster return of bowel function.
Is robotic surgery safe?
Yes. Numerous studies have reported on the safety of robotic surgery. The short-term outcomes appear equivalent to laparoscopic surgery. There is emerging evidence that there may be reduced rates of conversion to open surgery especially in male and overweight patients.
What are the advantages of robotic surgery?
There are some inherent limitations with laparoscopic surgery. There is loss of a 3 dimensional view, use of long and sometimes awkward instruments that amplify physiologic tremor as well as assistant-dependent camera manipulation. This can make difficult MIS operations nearly impossible. Robotic surgery enables the surgeon a 3-D stereoscopic view with full range of motion similar to that at open surgery due to the articulated instruments. There is a stable camera platform controlled by the surgeon. This enables precision and control during the operation and may increase the number of operations that can be completed with MIS techniques.
Where is robotic surgery available?
Robotic surgery for colorectal surgery and hernia surgery is available at St John of God Hospital in Geelong.
What is a colorectal surgeon?
A colorectal surgeon is an expert in the surgical and non-surgical treatment of colon and rectal conditions. In Australia, a colorectal surgeon has completed general surgical training to be a specialist general surgeon (FRACS). A minimum of 2 years of clinical post-fellowship training is then undertaken in high volume accredited institutions through the Colorectal Surgical Society of Australia and New Zealand (CSSANZ). There is also a research requirement and a written examination on colon and rectal conditions. An equivalent domestic or international experience may qualify a surgeon for CSSANZ accreditation.