Robots in Operating Rooms 1, 2 and 3


One morning driving to work and listening to my favorite radio station, I heard an amusing story about a radio station that  inadvertently sent out a public service announcement about a zombie attack.  Apparently, the station’s computers had been hacked – apologies followed.  No zombies.

Here’s another news alert… the robots are coming!  Truthfully, the robots are already here.

There are robotic surgical systems being operated by surgeons of all stripes across the country.  Doctors who use the robots think of this as a “win, win” situation because with the robotic assist they can see inside the patient with a 3-D camera in a field magnified 10 times.  That’s close up and personal.

With surgery utilizing the daVinci® Si Surgical System, surgeons insert miniaturized instruments and a 3-D camera through 1- to 2-centimeter incisions. The advanced robotics allow surgeons to view a high-definition image of the surgical site on a computer monitor.

The surgeon’s hand movements are translated into micro-movements inside the patient’s body, enabling surgeons to perform complex procedures with enhanced precision and control.


  • Less pain and scarring
  • Preservation of vital small nerves and blood vessels
  • Smaller incisions (usually 1- to 2-centimeters)
  • Less blood loss during procedure
  • Quicker recovery (usually one to three days)
  • Lower risk of infection
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Fewer transfusions

da Vinci Surgery is categorized as robot-assisted minimally invasive surgery, so any insurance that covers minimally invasive surgery generally covers da Vinci Surgery. This is true for widely held insurance plans like Medicare. Be sure to check with health insurers.

Now the robotic assistant may not be as handsome as your TV doctor but certainly less cranky and dependable.  Physicians who use robots to perform surgeries tell me that surgeries are less invasive and require shorter recovery time for the patient. Heart surgery via robotic assist is becoming more the rule than the exception.

About the author

Susan Hall
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Susan joined Baylor many years ago when Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas was the only Baylor facility in the area. When not at work, she’s outside – Big Bend National Park is her favorite with Glacier National Park a close second.

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Robots in Operating Rooms 1, 2 and 3