How it Works
When we think of robots, we tend to picture something human-looking, with a head, body, arms and legs. We also tend to imagine a machine that operates independently.
The daVinci robot is all arms, and every move it makes is controlled by a trained, experienced surgeon.
The robotic arms of the daVinci system are attached to a base unit at one end. Various tools can be attached on the other end of these arms, including:
- Endoscopic cameras for viewing inside the body
- Sharp, scissor-like instruments for cutting
- Sophisticated sewing tools that resemble tiny pliers
- Laser tools and miniature scalpels
All these tools fit through tiny incisions made in a patient's body. The robot’s base is wired to the surgeon's nearby computer console.
Once a patient is fully prepped in the operating room — with small incisions made, and robotic instruments in place — the surgeon moves to the console.
At the console:
- The surgeon's hands move the controllers, which manipulate the instruments inside the patient’s body.
- The instruments are "wristed" to capture a greater range of motion than the human wrist.
- The surgeon makes a precise cutting or sewing motion.
- The computer software translates these movements to allow the instruments to do exactly the same thing inside the patient's body — without any potential hand tremor.
This approach means surgeons can perform delicate, complex operations without the trauma of large incisions, which is a tremendous benefit for patients.