Surgeons at the Stanford University School of Medicine have developed a safe and efficient way to use a surgical robot to perform gastric bypass operations. Their report, published in the August issue of the Archives of Surgery, documents the first totally robotic technique to complete this technically challenging procedure.
The method, developed by associate professor of surgery Myriam Curet, MD, is an improvement on a more conventional technique called laparoscopic surgery. In both instances, specialized tools with cameras attached are inserted through small holes in the patient’s body. But while traditional laparoscopic tools are held in the surgeon’s hand, the robotic tools are operated remotely from a control station.
"It makes the surgery easier," said Curet, noting that the da Vinci robotic surgical system, manufactured by Intuitive Surgical Inc. in Sunnyvale, Calif., offers several advantages over hand-held laparoscopic tools. For example, it has a 3-D camera to aid visualization, as opposed to the 2-D fiber optic cameras used in the conventional tools. The robotic arms also have highly flexible wrists, making precise maneuvers possible.
Michelle Brandt | EurekAlert!
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