The Pros and Cons of the Da Vinci Surgical System

November 12, 2012

The Pros and Cons of the Da Vinci Surgical System

With more than 210 of its devices being used all over the world, Intuitive Surgical has gone another step further with its latest Da Vinci surgical system. This system was approved in 2000 and is now being used for advanced techniques in surgery, like suturing and cutting. It is the very first operative robotic system for surgery that has been approved by the FDA, as well, giving it a massive advantage over the competition. Naturally, Intuitive Surgical did have to get past several obstacles to reach their current top spot in digital surgery, but they are still growing to this day.

How Does It Work?

With the help of the Da Vinci surgical system, surgeons can engage in surgery that is minimally invasive and reduces the chances of infection to practically zero. This system has four primary components to it, as follows:

  • The Surgeon Console

The surgeon console can be found a few feet away from the actual operating table and the surgeon will place his hands into it before operating on his patient. He will then view a 3-D image of the field in real time to watch the instruments while he works.

  • The Patient-Side Cart

This part of the Da Vinci surgical system comes with robotic arms, which will be the ones that touch the patient directly. To work with these hands properly, the surgeon will have to depend on nothing but his visual field while contacting or suturing soft tissue.

  • The Detachable Tools

With these detachable tools, the robotic arms will be able to move the same way that a human does. Each tool will have personal functions, as well, such as clamping or suturing.

  • The 3-D Vision System

The endoscope arm or camera unit will provide high-resolution 3-D images in real time as needed, so the surgeon will definitely have a significant advantage over traditional surgery.

What are the Pros and Cons?

When the Da Vinci surgical system is used, patients won’t have to stay in the hospital for as long as usual. This will, in turn, translate to lower hospital fees, faster recovery and less pain. Sadly, the system tools’ sizes aren’t small enough to use on children, but in adults, they won’t leave big surgical scars. And, since this system comes with lower risk in terms of invasive surgery, more people can now undergo it without having to worry about the repercussions.

Overall, the only main disadvantages of the Da Vinci surgical system would probably be its high cost and steep learning curve. Although there is a training program that surgeons can go through at Intuitive Surgical, it usually takes them a while to get used to doing the procedure through this innovative system overall.

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