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DaVinci Surgery: 21st Century Medicine from a Renaissance Robot

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Medicine has come a long, long way since the days of Leonardo DaVinci, the 16th Century Italian Renaissance man.

What once was performed by scalpel can now be accomplished with lasers and robots. Once of these medical marvels is named the “da Vinci.” According to Intuitive Surgical, makers of the system, “Thanks to a breakthrough surgical technology, there is a new category of minimally invasive surgery for which you may be a candidate.

It is an effective, minimally invasive alternative to both open surgery and laparoscopy. Through the use of the da Vinci® Surgical System, surgeons are now able to offer a minimally invasive option for complex surgical procedures. Imagine major surgery performed through the smallest of incisions. Imagine having the benefits of a definitive treatment but with the potential for significantly less pain, a shorter hospital stay, faster return to normal daily activities – as well as the potential for better clinical outcomes.”
While many people may be apprehensive about robotic appendages coming at them bearing lasers or sharp instruments, the benefits of this new surgical system are manifold. One of the primary concerns of surgeons and patients alike is the high incidence of surgical site infection and resulting sepsis.


Many patients have had to increase hospital stays and health care expenditures to fight off an infection contacted at the hospital. The da Vinci system reduces the chances of these post-surgical problems because its operations are minimally invasive, mitigating the trauma to the body.


The system itself consists of a control console located in the patient’s room featuring a side cart with four robotic arms. Three of the arms hold objects such as a scalpel, scissors, or cauterizing instruments. The fourth arm is for an endoscopic camera that enables the surgeon full stereoscopic vision from the console. The surgeon sits at the console and looks at a three dimensional image of the procedure, while articulating the arms with foot pedals and hand controllers. The precision of the surgeon’s actions are unparalleled with this kind of leading edge medical technology.
The FDA approved the da Vinci system for use in urologic and other laparoscopic surgeries in 2000. The surgical applications for this type of medical treatment are endless and the benefits to patient health are manifold.

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