Da Vinci Robotic Surgery

A Revolution in Minimally Invasive Surgery

Halifax Health Medical Center uses the da Vinci® Robotic Surgery System for many surgical procedures including:

What is da Vinci® Robotic Surgery?

Halifax Health has added the da Vinci® Robotic Surgery System to its surgical capabilities. Located in the Surgical Services Department at Halifax Health Medical Center, the da Vinci® system consists of two machines. The surgeon sits at a console about 15 feet from the anesthetized patient who is positioned on the surgical table. The console is comprised of a video screen, hand controls and foot pedals. The da Vinci® system employs two cameras to provide a 3-D color image of the operating field, plus five to 10 times magnification for a very precise view. Next to the surgical table is the bedside cart with four arms, three for instruments and one for a camera. The arms can be equipped with various instruments and rotate like a hand and wrist. The da Vinci® system translates the surgeon's motions into tiny movements and corrects for any hand tremors or extra hand motion. This allows for complex surgeries with small incisions, thus revolutionizing minimally invasive surgery and expanding the types of surgeries that can be performed.

What are the benefits to the patient?

Most surgeons using the da Vinci® system agree that there are numerous benefits to patients who have their procedures completed with the new technology, rather than having traditional open surgical procedures.

Benefits include:

  • Smaller incision
  • Less pain
  • Quicker recovery time
  • Less blood loss
  • Generally shorter hospital stay
  • Quicker return to normal activities of daily life

A 2003 study found that da Vinci® cut blood loss about 75 percent, reduced the time patients needed a catheter by 50 percent, and got patients out of the hospital quicker. Not everyone requiring surgery will qualify for the da Vinci® system. The best surgical method will be decided on after careful consultation between surgeon and patient.

What types of surgeries can be performed?

The Food and Drug Administration has approved the da Vinci® Robotic Surgical System for many procedures including urologic, general laparoscopic, gynecologic laparoscopic, general noncardiovascular thoracoscopic, lung surgery, and thoracoscopically assisted cardiotomy surgical procedures. At Halifax Health Medical Center, the system is primarily used initially for gynecologic, gynecologic oncology, kidney, bariatric and lung surgical procedures.