Approximately 200,000 people in the U.S. get bariatric surgery each year according to an article in The Atlantic. Gastric bypass surgery has come a long way since it was first introduced, and medical technology has taken it one giant leap further with the introduction of the robotic gastric bypass, by the da Vinci robotic system. It uses surgical robots to perform the bariatric surgery procedure, gastric bypass, which is one of the most commonly done weight loss procedures.
What is Robotic Gastric Bypass Surgery?
Robotic gastric bypass surgery is a minimally-invasive type of laparoscopic surgery that uses robotic instruments to perform the majority of the surgery. Gastric bypass itself is a surgery that is done by making a small pouch near the top of the stomach where the food is then avoided too so that it does not reach the larger part of the stomach. It reduces how much food is digested and helps the individual lose weight by feeling full faster. With advanced technology, the entire procedure can be done with medical robots, which also happen to be used for many other surgeries as well.
How Does it Work?
The robotic platform for gastric bypass procedures under the da Vinci Surgical System can help the surgeon get the procedure done more efficiently and to the benefit of the doctor and the patient. Instead of a large scar, small incisions are made that allow the different robotic instruments to perform the procedure laparoscopically. There is a high-definition 3D camera that looks into the body to find the right area for performing the surgery. The surgeon uses his or her hands to perform the movements, without ever having to enter the body cavity. The robot automatically does whatever the surgeon does with their hands.
Benefits for the Surgeon
The doctor advantages in a few different ways to performing robotic gastric bypass surgery. The visualization is better, first of all, thanks to the system’s 3D imaging capabilities. They are also able to perform this surgery on just about any patient, regardless of their current weight or body type. There are better control and accuracy overall with the robotic system, and the better ergonomics prevent fatigue by the surgeon, which then also helps the patient.
Benefits for the Patient
Patients who opt to get their gastric bypass procedure performed with the da Vinci robotic system have their advantages. They typically experience less pain and discomfort, as well as considerably less scarring since only small incisions are used. There is also less blood loss during the procedure and afterward, which reduces various types of complications. Patients also get the added benefit of a shorter stay in the hospital and being able to return to their normal activities much faster.
Whenever you consider a new surgery or new technology to have a surgery performed, you should have all the information in front of you. In some cases, that means the potential risks or drawbacks. With the robotic gastric bypass method, there have been instances of tools left in the body or shocking to the body of the metal equipment. While these events are extremely rare, they have happened to patients that received gastric bypass using robotic instruments.
Overall, there have been positive reviews for robotic gastric bypass surgery procedures, both by the surgeons and the patients. Patients appreciate the less hospital time and a quicker recovery while doctors appreciate being able to perform the surgery more efficiently. It also reduces many of the discomforts and risks of gastric bypass disease when done the most traditional way. The robotic method uses just tiny incisions and is performed laparoscopically.