Robotic surgery systems consist of one or more robotic arms, precisely controlled by surgeons seated at a console, which enlarges 3-D views of the surgery site. The arms are tipped with an endoscope for viewing the treatment area, or surgical instruments that can fit into an incision less than an inch long. The instrument handles that control the robotic arms have the added benefit of reducing surgeon fatigue during long or complicated surgeries and eliminating "hand tremor."
MD Anderson uses the Da Vinci® robotic surgery system, which has four robotic arms like the one pictured right. Although the robotic arms are doing the actual surgery, they still require direct input from the surgeon and cannot be merely programmed to operate without human intervention.
Candidates for robotic-assisted surgery include patients undergoing prostatectomy, hysterectomy, thoracic procedures and some general surgeries.
Robotic Surgery at MD Anderson
The following cancer surgeries are being performed with Da Vinci:
- Prostatectomy: removal of the prostate
- Nephrectomy: removal of the kidney