Robotic Surgery | FAQ with Dr. Alisa Coker

Author: Johns Hopkins Medicine

(thoughtful music) Many patients are concerned that robotic surgery means a robot is operating on you and a surgeon is less involved. I think the most important point to understand is the robot is simply another tool for your surgeon. It can be a very useful and powerful tool, but the surgeon is in control. When I'm performing a robotic surgery, I'm in the same room as the patient and using a console to control the robot. I look into the console which gives me a three-dimensional view of the operating field and use the handles to make movements which the robotic arms then mirror. (thoughtful music) The robot has several benefits. From a surgeon's perspective, it allows us to operate in small or hard to reach areas that would be difficult or not possible to operate in otherwise.

The robot allows for more precise vision, instrument control, and dexterity, making it ideal for some procedures. When comparing robotic surgery to traditional open surgery, we find that our patients benefit from less pain, shorter recovery, and are often able to leave the hospital faster than they would have otherwise. Given we can perform robotic surgery through small incisions, some of our patients also appreciate the added cosmetic benefit of that as well. (thoughtful music) The potential application of robotic surgery is growing constantly. Across Johns Hopkins, we have colorectal surgeons, urologists, gynecologists, surgical oncologists, and cardiothoracic surgeons performing robotic surgery, and that's just to name a few.

In my division of minimally invasive surgery, we are utilizing the robot for a variety of procedures. We can repair a hernia robotically that might have otherwise required a very large incision and an extensive hospital stay. We can treat foregut disorders and revisional surgery with precision that would be difficult to achieve otherwise. We have applications in weight loss surgery as well. We are always looking for the next application that could be beneficial to our patients. (thoughtful music) While the robot offers many advantages, I think it is critical that each patient be evaluated on an individual basis. Not all patients are candidates for robotic surgery, and there is still a role for laparoscopic and open surgery depending on your indications for surgery and your desired outcome. In choosing an approach, whether it be open surgery, laparoscopic surgery, or robotic surgery, it is important that you and your surgeon discuss what your goals are and which approach is best for you.

(thoughtful music) In the United States, the history of modern surgery has largely been defined by Johns Hopkins. Our surgeons are recognized nationally and internationally as experts in their fields. We are not only dedicated to providing patients the best outcome and in offering the latest techniques and technology, but we back that up with our research and development efforts. In our Minimally Invasive Surgical Training and Innovation Center, we provide robotic education and collaborate across disciplines to improve patient outcomes. We are not only providing excellent surgical care, but ensuring that we continue to progress and teach the next generation of surgeons as well. (thoughtful music).

Robotic Surgery | FAQ with Dr. Alisa Coker

Robotic Surgery | FAQ with Dr. Alisa Coker

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