Robotic Surgery at Penn
Robotic Surgery at Penn
Types of Procedures Available
Benefits and Advantages
How Does it Work?
About da Vinci® Surgical Systems
The Best of the Best in Robotic Surgery

How Does Robotic Surgery Work?

Dr. David Lee operating the robotic arms of da Vinci Surgical System
Dr. David Lee operating the robotic
arms of da Vinci® Surgical System

Robotic-assisted surgery is like other minimally invasive surgery in that instruments and cameras are inserted through small incisions. What is different is that the surgeon sits at a console next to the patient.

The surgeon looks into a viewfinder at the three-dimensional, high-quality image sent back by the cameras and works the surgical “arms” using hand and foot controls.

The quality of the images and precise movement of the surgical arms essentially puts the surgeon right next to the area in which he or she is operating.

Technology in the Hands of Experts
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 physicians, not the equipment.

View of the operative field and robotic instruments. The surgeon's hands are at the console, controlling the surgical instruments.


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