The VFRSI website offers information about robotic-assisted procedures representing the latest developments in minimally invasive surgical techniques. Robotic surgery provides surgeons with precision tools that use the same small incisions as conventional laparoscopy, but have the advantage of 3-D, magnified surgeon controlled vision. Robotic-assisted procedures are used to treat various conditions covering several specialties listed below. Not currently mentioned here are the robotic devices for joint repair and replacement, hair replacement and brain surgery.
The Vattikuti Foundation began funding robotic surgery in Urology at the Vattikuti Urology Institute (VUI) in the year 2000. This led to the very first breakthroughs in robotic surgery from VUI Chair Dr. Mani Menon, which have since spread worldwide. Today, Urologists offer minimally invasive robotic-assisted surgery for a number of urological diseases and conditions including: Radical prostatectomy, Nephrectomy, Pyeloplasty, Partial Nephrectomy, Donor Nephrectomy, Radical cystectomy, Lymph node dissection, Urinary diversion (continent, conduit), Incontinence surgery and most recently, robotic kidney transplantation (Now a separate listing.)
Since the procedures are minimally invasive, the precision of robotic technology is ideal for delicate and complex urologic surgeries. These include prostatectomies, in which the target site is tightly confined and surrounded by nerves affecting urinary control and erectile function. Breakthroughs in Urology led to practical methods to use surgical robots for the other specialties listed here.
Thanks to the idea for a novel kidney cooling technique devised by Dr. Mani Menon and researched by a global team of Vattikuti Foundation Partner Surgeons, kidney transplantation using the da Vinci surgical robot has become more successful and mainstream in the world today. Patients who have had robotic transplants report faster recovery times and significant pain reduction compared to open transplant patients. Studies reveal that the kidneys function at a higher level, thanks to being better preserved through better cooling during the transplantation process. The surgeons on this list were the first in the world to use this new method and continue to be among the most experienced at it. There are several videos about this on the VFRSI.vattikutifoundation.com website. Search Kidney transplant, renal transplant, kidney transplant procedures- for more information. A documentary on the first U. S. transplants of this new type can be viewed by using this link: http://vfrsi.vattikutifoundation.com/robotic-kidney-transplant-with-regional-hypothermia-the-first-u-s-transplants
Gynecology is one of the largest specialties for minimally invasive robotic-assisted surgeries for the treatment of cancer and other conditions involving the female genital tract. These conditions include: Myomectomy, Hysterectomy, Radical Hysterectomy, Calpo suspension and endometriosis procedures. Since they are less invasive and do not require large incisions, robotic-assisted procedures can be ideal for many gynaecological surgeries to maintain surgical precision while minimizing recovery times and scarring.
Gynecologic Oncologists have benefitted from being able to use the da Vinci Surgical System for cancer treatment surgery. Ovarian cysts, Endometrial cancer, fibroids, uterine cancer are some of the possibilities for this minimally invasive tool.
Colorectal Surgery is a specialty which has shown growth in the uses of the robotic system. Rectal cancer has various tumor severities, but often, an expert surgeon can help the patient return to a more functional life following a procedure. Other procedures for rectal prolapse and sphincter preservation have been innovated.
Bariatric surgery can be successfully performed robotically. Some surgeons claim that the surgeon benefits in super obese patients make it most worthwhile. The end goal of bariatric procedures is to help the patient reduce weight by either limiting the amount of food eaten or how many calories are absorbed.
Open procedures require a large incision across the abdomen. Laparoscopic procedures are minimally invasive and occur by instruments inserted into the body through small incisions and a camera. Robotic Bariatric surgery is growing, due to the patient and surgeon benefits.
The robotic gastrointestinal procedures offer minimally invasive, 3-D vision guided means to treat gastrointestinal conditions, using state-of-the-art technology. Specific conditions include: gastric bypass, hiatal hernias, achalasia. The benefits of the minimally invasive robotic procedure include shorter recovery time and less blood loss, because it is less invasive, requiring small keyhole incisions rather than a large incision. This means less time is required to recover. Most patients return to normal activity in two to three weeks instead of the six to eight weeks common in standard open surgery.
Robotic surgery for thoracic procedures allows the surgeon to have magnified, three-dimensional view of the surgical site and precise movement. Thoracic procedures, being delicate in nature, benefit from robotic instruments because of the accuracythe robots allows. Lung cancer (lobectomy), Thymectomy, esophagectomy, nerve procedures and mediastimal tumors may all be beneficially treated with the robot.
Another specialty which has seen the growth of robotic procedures is for Head & Neck procedures. Also known a s Transoral Robotic Surgery, or TORS, the patient advantages are significant. Unlike open procedures, which involve the splitting of the jawbone for a surgeon to remove a tumor, TORS procedures use the reach and magnified 3-D vision of the da Vinci system to reach difficult tumors. Many procedures do not require a tracheotomy to complete.
Pediatric robotic surgery has been successful mostly for Urological procedures- formerly done with large open incisions. Pediatric urology procedures can be for obstructions, Kidney procedures or removals, bladder reconstruction, ureter reconstructions and more. Other robotic pediatric surgery options are for gall bladders, esophagus and pelvic organ needs. Children benefit substantially, because the surgeon has a better visual field which is magnified and three dimensional. The instruments used are able to better maneuver in small children. Special instruments are adapted for small children and allow for more degrees of flexibility and decreased motion tremor. Thanks to the very small incisions, they heal and return to normal much faster in almost all cases.
Robotic cardiology surgery is taking the place of formerly required open procedures that called for a major incision and opening of the rib cage to enable the surgeon to access the heart. With the use of small robotic instruments and currently, a da Vinci robot, surgeons are able to do several types of heart surgery in a way that is much less invasive. Arrythmia, leaky heart valves, tumor removal and other types of surgery can often be done with a highly trained surgeon controlling the robotic tools.
For General Surgery, robotic-assisted procedures are more beneficial than traditional open surgery for qualified surgical candidates. Common General robotic procedures are available for liver, pancreas, spleen, adrenals and complex resections. Outcomes compare favorably in most cases, due to minimal blood loss, small incision sites and more precise surgery with the robot.