The da Vinci® Surgical Console
Robotic surgery is an extension of laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery and offers advantages that overcome some drawbacks of laparoscopy. Most people are familiar with laparoscopy in which the surgery is performed by manipulating straight instruments while viewing the movement of the instruments inside the body on a screen. There are usually a group of small incisions (1cm or less) made on the body to allow access for the ports and instruments.
During a robotic surgical procedure, the surgeon sits in the console of the da Vinci surgical system a few feet away from the patient. While watching through the console/video monitoring system, he/she moves the handles on the console in the directions he /she wants to move the surgical instruments. The handles on the console translate the surgeon's natural hand and wrist movements into corresponding and very precise movements inside the body.
Using the da Vinci System, surgeons can operate with the look and feel of open surgery, performing complex surgical maneuvers. The surgeon has intuitive control, range of motion and fine tissue manipulation characteristic of open surgery. All of this is performed through small ports of minimally invasive surgery.
One obstacle of standard laparoscopy is the loss of three dimensional (3-D) spatial relationships since the screen has only a two dimensional view (2D), like a television. The da Vinci Surgical System uses a camera that provides the surgeon with a truly 3-D view of the surgical field. The physician looks through the vision system - like a pair of binoculars - and gets a 3-D view inside the patient's body that allows the surgeon to experience the depth of the field being operated. The system also provides magnification ten-twelve times that of the naked eye, allowing the surgeon the ability to see the operating field more clearly.
Standard Laparoscopic instruments have the feel of "chop sticks". However the DaVinci Surgical Cart uses EndoWrist® Instruments that are designed to mimic the movement of the human hands, wrists and fingers. The extensive range of motion allows precision that is not available in standard laparoscopy.