Da Vinci Surgical System
One of the most important tasks for modern medicine is to improve the efficacy of surgical procedures while reducing pain and shortening recovery time. To this end, many methods have been developed in recent years. One of the most prominent is minimally invasive surgery: an operation performed via only a few tiny incisions in the skin, as opposed to the large and significant incision which characterizes the traditional approach - the open approach. Over the years, this has become a particularly common surgical approach in advanced medical centers throughout the world.
A particularly advanced development based on this method, also found in the operating theaters of Herzliya Medical Center, is the Da Vinci Surgical System, which is an advanced system for performing operations by the minimally invasive approach, performed completely by robot, with no contact of a human hand.
A robot in the operating theater? Why is it needed?
Firstly, we note that the presence of robots in operating theaters or in various medical procedures is not new. Essentially, the first “medical” robots made their appearance in hospitals throughout the world already in the 80’s. What is new here is the sophistication of the system, its accuracy and the ability to utilize it from a distance: essentially, the Da Vinci Surgical System is controlled by the surgeon at a special adjacent work station (i.e. the robot does not work automatically).
And why would the skilled and experienced surgeons who usually treat us need the services of such a robot in the operating theater? The robot has a number of advantages, which come down to one main fact: it is not human. This means that it does not fatigue, has no tremor, and can undertake movements that no human - not event the most highly skilled surgeon - can do.
One of the biggest advantages offered by this system is its ability to perform wrist-like movements of several times greater range than that of a human. While the robot does imitate the surgeon’s movements, it can rotate certain parts, for example, by 360 degrees, reaching places that no surgeon can access - at least not with the same rapidity and ease. For the patient, the significance is clear: the operation will be more rapid, more accurate and less painful.
The Da Vinci Surgical System thus has several clear advantages:
- Maximal steadiness and accuracy
- Ranges of movement several times larger than that of a human hand
- Lack of “human limitations”: fatigue, lack of concentration, etc.
These advantages render the system very effective in certain types of operations that require great concentration and extraordinary accuracy, especially due to the sensitivity of the region in which they are performed. The use of the Da Vinci Surgical System has thus become very common in operations for the partial or complete removal of the prostate gland, operations to remove kidney tumors, operations to remove urinary bladder tumors and the like - surgical procedures that are known to require maximal accuracy. At the same time, gradually, more and more operations are being performed using the robot, also in other fields, due to the very same advantages specified here, which can be of benefit in any surgical procedure.
The bottom line of all this is one important fact: the Da Vinci Surgical System enables minimally invasive operations to be performed with maximal accuracy, thus obviating the need in many cases for open surgery, which causes more intense and prolonged pain and requires recovery that takes several times longer. Using the robot, the minimally invasive approach is rendered even more effective, and in various instances (e.g. in urological operations), it serves as essentially the only option for performing the operation other than by the open approach. The robot thus offers you, the patients, an operation with significantly improved quality and effectiveness, and enables easier recovery.
The structure of the system and its principal of operation
The Da Vinci Surgical System is composed of three main systems:
- Command and control center: This is the place where the surgeon himself sits, from where he conveys commands to the robot, while viewing the operated areas through the robot’s “eyes”.
- The robot “surgeon”: This is actually a system with several special arms that can work in parallel for a number of purposes, and work with unique, very large ranges of movement, as mentioned above. These arms can also perform particularly small and fine actions, so they are suited to performing a wide range of operations.
- The screen: The system conveys an image of the treated area throughout the operation, of course in real time, to the screen facing the surgeon, which can also be viewed by other team members if needed. The screen is of very high resolution, providing eight times magnification of the region upon which the surgeon is focusing. He can, using the robot, thus also discern tiny blood vessels and nerves and avoid damaging them. Essentially, the robot significantly improves the ability to “see” the treated area, and offers particularly good focus. The robot’s display system also has the capability of providing a three dimensional display.
As stated above, the robot is controlled at all times by the surgeon, by remote control, and does not work automatically. The system cannot be operated by any surgeon, but only by one who has undergone special training for this.
Operations with Da Vinci Surgical System: One more step towards the future
The presence of the Da Vinci Surgical System at Herzliya Medical Center expresses well the hospital’s philosophy: aspiring to be at the forefront of technological innovation in the medical world, to be equipped with the most sophisticated equipment and to make it available to the superb surgeons who work at the hospital.
This constant innovation and unceasing aspiration to update is what ensures that you, our patients, will receive the best medical care in the world. With the Da Vinci Surgical System, the operation is completed in significantly shorter time, the accuracy and effectiveness of the procedure is higher, there is less pain and discomfort after the operation - and the day of release from hospital arrives earlier that usual. When we add to all these considerations also the superb guest experience, the negligible amount of hospital-acquired infections, treatment by the best surgeons in Israel and internationally and the service provided by experienced staff, at Herzliya Medical Center you enjoy a comprehensive medical envelope unsurpassed in Israel.