Robotic Surgery: The Future of Medicine is Here

June 21, 2011
Robotics surgery

Would you rather spend eight weeks recovering from surgery - or only one week? When given this choice, more and more Downriver residents are opting for the shorter recovery time, which is often possible when surgery is performed using robotic techniques.

Robotic surgeries are minimally invasive procedures that allow surgeons to perform operations without large incisions. For patients, these operations can mean:

  • Less pain
  • Minimal scarring
  • A faster return to normal activities

"Robotic techniques improve the safety of surgery, lessen complications and reduce postoperative pain and recovery time for a quicker return to daily life and health," says Dr. Richard C. Sarle, a fellowship-trained robotic urologist at Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital.

The technique

During a robotic procedure, the surgeon sits at a console and operates robotic arms that hold miniature instruments. These instruments are inserted into the patient's body via a few incisions only a centimeter in length. The movement of the surgeon's hands is translated into precise movements of the instruments in the patient. Compared to traditional open techniques, robotic surgery gives the surgeon the ability to rotate instruments 360 degrees. It can be a superior method for dissecting and removing cancerous lesions or organs.

Common procedures

Robotic techniques are used during a range of surgeries, including the following:

Hysterectomy: Using robotic surgery to remove a woman's uterus is one of the most effective, least invasive treatment options for a range of uterine conditions, including abnormal bleeding and cancer.

Nephrectomy: Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital physicians are among few in the nation who perform complex robotic procedures to treat kidney cancers and other kidney diseases.

Radical prostatectomy: This robotic procedure allows doctors to more precisely determine the stage of the prostate cancer and the operation's effectiveness.