Over the past 5 years the da Vinci robot has been used more and more for gynecologic surgeries. Being relatively new and extensively publicized it has garnered a great deal of attention. Patients are asking for it without truly understanding the appropriateness of its use. The da Vinci robot doesn’t act independently. It is a totally doctor controlled device to assist him/her to better manage their laparoscopic surgical procedures. It has given many doctors the additional acuity, which they might not otherwise have, to better perform procedures. It is not designed to eliminate human error; it is designed to assist the physician.
The da Vinci has been a great asset to many surgeons. The optics are very clear and the instruments are robotically controlled conforming to the surgeon’s hand movements. This allows the doctor to use the same types of movements that he/she would use in an open procedure. The major drawbacks are the cost and the inability to actually feel the texture of the tissue the surgeon is dealing with. The da Vinci certainly helps oncology surgeons perform procedures that were not able to be done previously by laparoscopy. It also allows a physician to manipulate the instruments as in an open procedure, and it makes many physicians more comfortable with laparoscopic surgery.
Conventional operative laparoscopy does not use the robot. It has evolved