Minimally Invasive Surgery
While completely non-invasive surgery is a misnomer, minimally invasive surgery is surgery minimizing surgical incisions to reduce trauma to the body. This type of surgery is usually performed using thin needles and an endoscope to visually guide the surgery.
The goal of minimally invasive surgery is to reduce postoperative pain and blood loss, to speed recovery and to lessen scarring. Types of minimally invasive surgery practiced at Capital Region Urology include laparoscopy, da Vinci® robotic surgeries, and percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PNL) for kidney stone treatment.
Laparoscopic surgery involves operating through small incisions, usually about 4 incisions less than 1/2 inch (10 millimeters) in length are used. Carbon dioxide gas is used to create a working space within the abdomen, or other areas of the body where surgery is performed. Laparoscopic refers to a type of telescope used to see inside the body.
Internal organs are visible by inserting a laparoscope through one of the small incisions. A tiny camera is attached to the laparoscope, which transmits the image to a television screen above the operating table. Instruments are then inserted into additional incisions to retract, cut, suture, and staple.
The benefits of laparoscopic surgery include smaller incisions resulting in less pain and scarring, a shortened hospital stay and a faster recovery than traditional surgical techniques. Laparoscopic surgery is sometimes called keyhole surgery, or band-aid surgery.
Laparoscopy was initially used in the field of gynecology, first for diagnostic procedures, and later for treatment of many conditions. Subsequently, laparoscopic cholecystectomy became the approach of choice for gall bladder removal. Now laparoscopy is used increasingly as a minimally invasive therapeutic tool in treating complex urologic conditions. Urologic laparoscopy has been applied to diagnostic, reconstructive, and oncology (cancer) procedures.
One major disadvantage of pure laparoscopy is that the instruments have only limited range of motion, making complicated reconstruction within the body, as in laparoscopic prostatectomy, very difficult to perform. This is the primary driving force for the evolution to robot-assisted surgery.
da Vinci® Robotic Surgeries
The da Vinci system provides Capital Region Urology surgeons with enhanced visualization including high-definition 3D vision and a magnified view of the surgical site, increased precision, and better control. While sitting at the ergonomic console, the surgeon controls the system, which translates his or her hand movements into smaller, more precise movements of tiny instruments inside the patient's body.
Though it is often called a "robot," the da Vinci surgical system cannot be programmed, nor can it make decisions on its own. Rather, the da Vinci system requires that the surgeon perform every surgical maneuver. It is important to understand that a robot is not in control. Your surgeon controls every aspect of the surgery with the assistance of the da Vinci robotic platform.
Capital Region Urology, Institute for Pelvic Medicine, surgeons utilize the da Vinci surgical system for many minimally invasive female pelvic and reconstructive surgeries including hysterectomy, myomectomy, sacrocolpopexy, and suspension and sling surgeries for incontinence.