Penn Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery Program

Robotic-assisted Bariatric Surgery


All procedures performed by Penn’s Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Program are available using a minimally invasive approach called laparoscopic-assisted surgery. In laparoscopic-assisted surgery, the surgeon makes several small incisions in the abdomen to insert long, thin tubes called canulas. Specialized instruments are then inserted through the canulas to perform the operation. A tiny camera transmits an image of the body's interior to a video screen that guides the surgeon throughout the procedure.

In comparison to traditional open surgery, laparoscopic-assisted surgery offers many benefits for patients, including:

  • Less trauma to the body
  • Reduced post-operative pain
  • Enhanced cosmetic effect (smaller scars)
  • Reduced length of stay in hospital
  • Reduced post-surgical recovery and quicker return to normal activities, including work.

In addition to laparoscopic-assisted bariatric surgery, Penn’s Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Program also offers robotic-assisted surgery for the adjustable gastric band and sleeve gastrectomy procedures.

Robotic-assisted surgery is like other minimally invasive procedures in that instruments and cameras are inserted through small incisions in the abdomen. However in robotic surgery, the surgeon sits next to the patient at the console of the robot, looks into a viewfinder at the three-dimensional, high-quality image sent back by the cameras, and works the surgical “arms” using the robot’s hand and foot controls.

It is important to note that robotic-assisted surgery is performed by a surgeon — not a robot. The equipment is a tool for skilled surgeons, enhancing their ability to provide the best care for their patients. The success of robotic-assisted surgery depends on the skill and experience of the physician, not the equipment.

The Penn Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Program is highly experienced in robotic-assisted surgery and have performed more than 500 robotic LAP-BAND® and sleeve gastrectomy procedures.

Robotic-assisted bariatric surgery offers several benefits for patients, including:

  • Reduced trauma to the body
  • Shorter recovery time
  • Less chance of infection
  • Less postoperative pain