Frequently asked questions about robotic surgery

We know that hearing you need to have surgery can be scary. You might be worried about the procedure, how much pain you may experience, or how long it will take to recover. The good news is that procedures using new technology for surgery, like the da Vinci Xi robot, can help you experience less pain and recover faster. Below are some frequently asked questions and answers.

A. Minimally invasive surgery requires smaller cuts than the large openings associated with “open surgery.” You may also hear minimally invasive surgery called robotic surgery or robot-assisted surgery. Minimally invasive procedures have become common because they offer a shorter recovery time for patients.
A. No. Several surgical technologies are linked to a computer system to improve your surgeons range of motion, dexterity (skill), and precision. Your surgeon is in total control, using a tiny camera and very precise instruments to do the procedure. The robot cannot be programmed and it cannot make any movements on its own.
A. The smaller cuts used in robotic surgery mean that you may expect a shorter hospital stay, less blood loss, less pain and scarring, and a quicker recovery.
A. Every person is different, but don’t be surprised if you are able to go home the day after surgery—or even sooner.
A. In many cases the recovery time after robotic surgery is shorter than with regular open surgery. But remember, even though you may experience little pain and may only have a small bandage after the procedure, robot-assisted surgery is still major surgery. Give your body the time it needs to heal and recover properly. Always follow the directions from your doctor.
A. Robotic surgery with the da Vinci robot is available for several different types of procedures at Phelps, including general surgery, gynecologic (women’s reproductive system) surgery, kidney surgery, thoracic (chest) surgery, and urologic (urinary-tract system and male reproductive system) surgery.
A. We are proud to have the leading-edge da Vinci Xi® Surgical System here at Phelps. This leading robotic surgery technology has been used for more than 3 million minimally invasive procedures around the world.
A. Look for experience, training, and a high-volume program. Ask your surgeon about his or her level of experience using a robot-assisted approach to surgery. It is important to feel confident that you’re receiving high-quality care from an experienced surgeon who is part of an established program. Our experts at Phelps Hospital are at the forefront of minimally invasive robotic surgery. Our surgical leaders are highly specialized, use the latest technologies, and receive training simulations to refine and master their robotic surgical skills.
A. At Phelps we’re committed to offering minimally invasive surgery to improve your experience as a patient. We have the latest innovative robotic surgery technology and a highly-skilled surgical team. Dr. Darren Rohan, the Westchester Regional Director of the Thoracic Surgery Program at Northwell Health, was the first thoracic surgeon in the United States to use the da Vinci Xi system for chest surgery. Our surgeons are specially qualified to use the da Vinci Xi system and undergo extensive training simulations to perfect their skills.
A. No. While robot-assisted surgery is an effective option for many people, it is not appropriate for every medical case. Your doctor will review your specific risk factors, lifestyle, and condition to provide the most appropriate treatment option for you.
A. Yes. Some patients who are overweight may be considered better candidates for robot-assisted surgery than for open surgery. However, every case is different. Your doctor will discuss a treatment plan that is best for you.