Frequently Asked Questions About da Vinci Robotic Surgery

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Q. What are the benefits of da Vinci® surgery compa red with traditional surgical methods?
A. Some of the major benefits experienced by surgeons using robotic surgery over traditional approaches have been greater surgical precision, increased range of motion, improved dexterity, enhanced visualization and improved access. Benefits experienced by patients may include a shorter hospital stay, less pain, less risk of infection, less blood loss, fewer transfusions, less scarring, faster recovery and a quicker return to normal daily activities. None of these benefits can be guaranteed, as surgery is necessarily both patient- and procedure-specific.

Q: What procedures have been performed using da Vinci robotic surgery.
A. This robotic surgical platform enables complex procedures of all types to be performed through less than 1-inch incisions. To date, tens of thousands of procedures have been performed using da Vinci robotic surgery.

Q. Has da Vinci robotic surgery been cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration?
A. Yes. The FDA has cleared it for a wide range of procedures.

Q: Is robotic surgery covered by insurance?
A. da Vinci surgery is categorized as robot-assisted minimally invasive surgery, so any insurance that covers minimally invasive surgery generally covers da Vinci surgery. This is true for widely held insurance plans like Medicare. It is important to note that your coverage will depend on your plan and benefits package. For specifics regarding reimbursement for da Vinci surgery at Via Christi, or if you have been denied coverage, contact your insurance provider.

Q. Will robotic surgery make surgeons unnecessary?
A. Absolutely not! On the contrary, robotic surgery enables surgeons to be more precise, advancing their technique and enhancing their capability in performing complex minimally invasive surgery. da Vinci surgery replicates the surgeon's movements in real time. It cannot be programmed, nor can it make decisions on its own to move in any way or perform any type of surgical maneuver without the surgeon's input.

Q. Is a surgeon using robotic surgery operating in virtual reality?
A. Although seated at a console a few feet away from the patient, the surgeon views an actual image of the surgical field while operating in real-time, through tiny incisions, using miniaturized, wristed instruments. At no time does the surgeon see a virtual image, or program or command the system to perform any maneuver on its own, outside of the surgeon's direct, real-time control.

Q. While using robotic surgery, can the surgeon feel anything inside the patient's chest or abdomen?
A. Robotic surgery relays some force feedback sensations from the operative field back to the surgeon throughout the procedure. This provides a substitute for tactile sensation and is augmented by the enhanced vision provided by the high-resolution, 3-D view.

Q. Why is it called da Vinci robotic surgery?
A. Leonardo da Vinci invented the first robot. He also used unparalleled anatomical accuracy and three-dimensional details to bring his masterpieces to life. da Vinci robotic surgery similarly provides physicians with enhanced detail and precision that simulates an open surgical environment while allowing operation through tiny incisions.


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