Robot-Assisted Surgery: Everything You Need To Know

Robotic or robot-assisted surgery enables surgeons to make smaller, more precise incisions during procedures, leading to quicker patient recovery.

At Mr Achal Khanna’s private practice in Milton Keynes, we use this technology to help us provide the very best care and treatment for our patients. Discover everything about robot-assisted surgery in our latest blog post.

What is robot-assisted surgery?

Robot-assisted surgery is an innovative technique that combines a trained surgeon’s skills with robotic technology’s precision and capabilities. It enhances the surgeon’s abilities and gives them greater control during the surgery.

A robot does not perform the surgery. Instead, your surgeon uses robotic arms fitted with the tools they need to assist in performing complex manoeuvres and accurate positioning.

How does robotic surgery work?

A typical robot-assisted surgical system has several vital components. They include the surgeon’s computer console, robotic arms, camera systems and specialised surgical instruments.

The surgeon’s console is a command centre. The surgeon sits here during the procedure and controls the robotic arms and tools. The console typically has hand controls, foot pedals and a high-definition 3D display. The surgeon’s movements are translated through the console into actions performed by the robotic arms (a process called telemanipulation).

Your surgeon will position the robotic arms near the surgical site (the cut in the skin). The arms can hold and manipulate surgical instruments with greater dexterity while mimicking a human wrist’s range of motion. Surgeons use the tools to operate through small incisions or cuts and treat various conditions.

The camera set-up is an essential part of robotic surgery. The surgeon has a detailed view so they can make accurate movements. Telemanipulation needs live, real-time camera feedback and a highly skilled surgeon to succeed.

Robot or surgeon: who performs the surgery?

In robot-assisted surgery, it’s essential to understand that a robotic system is a tool. It does not control itself. The surgeon remains the device’s primary decision maker and operator, using the technology to perform intricate movements. 

Robotic technology extends the surgeon’s skills, improving results and enhancing recovery.

Does robotic surgery take longer?

The duration of robotic surgery compared to traditional surgery varies depending on several factors. These can include:

  • The surgeon’s experience with robotic technology — they can take less time as they become more proficient
  • The procedure’s complexity — complicated surgeries can take longer to complete
  • Your overall health and response to surgery — surgery can take longer if complications arise

Sometimes robotic surgery will take longer. However, it can take the same time as traditional surgery or be faster. Robotic surgery also has the potential for a shorter recovery time and reduced postoperative complications, which can outweigh any initial time differences.

Advantages of robotic surgery

There are many benefits of robot-assisted surgery, such as:

  • Enhanced precision and agility — the system allows for exact movements that surpass what a human hand can do: a benefit in delicate, complex procedures
  • Reduced damage to surrounding tissue and organs
  • Improved visualisation with 3D imaging — the surgeon has a magnified view of the surgical site, giving them a deeper understanding of your anatomy and improving surgical accuracy
  • Reduced invasiveness and smaller incisions — can reduce the recovery time because they result in less trauma to the body when compared to traditional surgery
  • Quicker recovery — potential faster recovery is due to the enhanced precision and smaller incisions made when undergoing robot-assisted surgery

These advantages are not available in traditional surgery, demonstrating how much this technology has transformed surgical procedures.

Risks of robotic surgery

Every surgical procedure has the potential for risks, including robot-assisted surgery. Some — very unusual — risks can include technical malfunctions and surgical errors.

However, we take every step to mitigate these risks to protect your safety.

Some ways that we ensure your safety are:

  • Thorough training in the robotic system
  • Technical support to maintain the equipment
  • Having safety protocols in place
  • Choosing suitable patients for the surgery to maximise success
  • Safety mechanisms that stop the machine from doing serious harm if a malfunction occurs

Procedures suitable for robotic surgery

Surgeons can perform many different types of surgery with robotic assistance. Our private clinic in Milton Keynes offers gallbladder removal and hernia surgery with robotics. 

These surgeries need precision and expert manoeuvres which the robotic technology enhances for our surgeons.

Does robotic surgery improve outcomes?

The outcome of your robotic surgery will depend on many factors which can all impact the procedure’s success and your recovery. 

Typically, robot-assisted surgery has a positive outcome and fewer complications, leading to enhanced recovery.

Robotic surgery recovery time

Robotic surgery is minimally invasive, which can mean a faster recovery time than traditional surgery.

We can attribute this speedy recovery to the following:

  • Smaller incisions
  • Reduced tissue disruption/damage
  • Lower risk of infections due to smaller incisions

However, recovery will vary from person to person. It will depend on the tools used to perform it and your overall health, the type of procedure and how well you follow aftercare advice. You can encourage a faster recovery by keeping your wounds clean and resuming your usual activities when advised.

Is robotic-assisted surgery suitable for all patients?

While robot-assisted surgery has many benefits, it is not suitable for everyone. Several factors can influence your eligibility.

These factors can include: 

  • Your overall health — we consider your current health and medical history before approving robot-assisted surgery. Certain pre-existing conditions can increase your risk of complications during an operation 
  • Your weight — being obese can rule out robot-assisted surgery because your body cannot take the strain of the procedure. 
  • The procedure’s complexity — some operations cannot be done with robotic technology and may be better suited to traditional surgery.

Whether robotic-assisted surgery is right for you depends on the surgeon’s evaluation of your health and other factors. Ultimately, the goal is to maximise the surgery’s success and ensure your safety.

Robotic surgery in Milton Keynes

At our private surgery in Milton Keynes, Mr Achal Khanna and his team use the latest robotic technology called Versius. We perform gallbladder removal and hernia surgeries with the assistance of this cutting-edge technology to offer our patients all the benefits it can bring.

Mr Achal Khanna has complete expertise in robotic surgery and is a renowned Versius expert. He was among the first in Europe to perform an inguinal hernia repair with the technology and the first in the world to make parastomal and ventral hernia repairs. So, you can rest assured that you are in the safest hands when choosing our surgery.
Contact our expert team today and discover how Versius robotic surgery can help you.