Keyhole or Laparoscopic or Minimally Invasive Surgery and Robotic Surgery

Laparoscopic and Robotic surgery provides many benefits to patients. Rather than the surgeon doing the operation through a large incision (traditional open surgery), small cuts are made for long instruments to be inserted in to the abdomen to do the procedure.

A laparoscopic and robotic operation is watched by a small camera inserted into the abdomen that gives the surgeon a view of the surgery on a television screen.  Laparoscopic and robotic surgery is often much less traumatic and bloodless compared to traditional open surgery because the surgeon can’t do the operation if there is a lot of blood obscuring his view on the televison screen!

As laparoscopic and robotic surgery is less traumatic, the patient is much less stressed by their surgery, with smaller wounds, less pain, quicker return to mobilisation, quicker resumption of normal diet and quicker return to work and normal activities.

Laparoscopic and robotic surgery also gives a reduced hospital stay, reduced after care needs in the community, reduced wound infections and reduced adhesions and hernia complications.

It is important to note that laparoscopic and robotic surgery is not appropriate for all patients.  In some patients it proves too technically difficult to proceed with keyhole surgery and the surgeon then needs to convert to traditional open surgery.  Laparoscopic and robotic surgery can be difficult in obese patients, patients with lots of inflammation or large masses and patients who have already undergone many abdominal operations.

However, the majority of patients are able to undergo laparoscopic or robotic surgery and it is becoming more and more popular worldwide.

What is the difference between laparoscopic and robotic operations? In laparoscopic operations, the surgeon stands next to the patient on the operating table and the surgeon holds the handles of the laparoscopic instruments entering the patient’s body. In robotic operations, a robot instead stands next to the patient on the operating table and the robot holds the instruments entering the patient’s body. In robotic operations, the surgeons sits at a control table a distance away from the operating table and the surgeon controls the movements of the robot and the surgical instruments in the patient’s body via the control table. The robot control table enables the surgeon to have 3D HD vision and a much greater range of movements with the robot surgical instruments compared to laparoscopic instruments.