EL PASO, Texas - Robotic surgery has continued to advance since it was introduced more than two decades ago. Among the different systems in use, the Da Vinci system is probably the most well-known. Doctor Avery Walker appeared on ABC-7 at 4 to discuss Da Vinci. He is a general surgeon and colon and rectal surgeon with The Hospitals of Providence.
"For the patient, the real benefits (of robotic surgery) are much smaller incisions which results in fewer days in the hospital, faster recovery time and less risk of infection," Dr. Walker explained. "For the surgeon, the Da Vinci robot allows us greater precision with increased range of motion, along with enhanced visualization, including areas that may not be able to be seen with the naked eye. Especially during surgeries that have hard to reach areas, the robot improves that access."
There are four arms to the Da Vinci system which is a tremendous help for the surgeon. "With the extra arms, you can do things that the two arm surgeon would never be able to do, said Doctor Walker. "And that's keeping things out of the way while you're doing very precise movements and then being able to move a camera around without somebody else holding it. Everybody has a little bit of a tremor, so when you have a robot holding it, the robot doesn't have a tremor. So all these things combined for better surgeries."
Doctor Walker said everyone is a candidate for robotic surgery until they're not. He adds you should talk to your doctor first to see if your surgery can be performed by a surgeon who is trained to use a robotic system.