surgery medstar franklin square baltimore

Christopher You, MD, bariatric surgeon at MedStar Franklin Square, in front of the da Vinci® Surgical Robot.

Q. Does robotic surgery mean a robot is performing my surgery?

A. No, your surgeon controls the entire surgery. The robotic instruments act as an extension of your surgeon's hands, responding precisely to your surgeon's movements.

Q. Is robotic surgery a "minimally invasive" procedure?

A. Yes, robotic surgery is a type of minimally invasive surgery. A minimally invasive surgery uses small incisions rather than large ones, or uses existing entryways into the body.

Laparoscopic surgery and robotic surgery are both "minimally invasive." Generally, minimally invasive procedures cause less pain and result in a faster recovery.

Q. How does a robotic surgery compare to a traditional surgery?

A. A robotic surgery is usually more precise than a traditional "open" surgery, with less pain and a faster recovery. However, a robotic surgery is not right for every patient and every condition. Your surgeon will decide on the best surgical approach to treat you.

Q. What is the difference between a robotic surgery and a laparoscopic surgery?

A. Both robotic and laparoscopic surgeries are minimally invasive. This means your surgeon makes tiny incisions rather than large ones, or uses an existing entryway into the body. A robotic surgery has greater flexibility because the robot has greater range of motion than your surgeon's hand.

Q. Does the da Vinci operate by itself?

A. The da Vinci system cannot "think" on its own. It only responds to your surgeon's precise hand and finger movements. Your surgeon is in the operating room, directing the procedure the entire time.

Q. How does the surgeon see what he or she is doing?

A. There is a camera inside your body, which sends real-time images to your surgeon, seated at a console. In fact, the images your surgeon sees using da Vinci are more highly magnified, with a sharper resolution, then what he or she would see standing over you.

Q. Can any doctor use a da Vinci?

A. A surgeon cannot simply walk into an operating room and start using a robotic surgical system without proper training. However, any doctor can be successfully trained in the da Vinci Surgical System.

Q. Is robotic surgery available for any surgical procedure?

A. Robotic surgery is available for many but not all surgical procedures. Sometimes, even if a robotic option is available, it might not be the best approach for you.

Q. Are there operations where traditional open surgery is still best?

A. In general, cardiac surgery is still performed using traditional open surgery. Cardiac surgeons need a clear view of the operating field and need to be able to move the instruments around tight spaces and curves. Most cardiac surgeons prefer a hands-on approach when performing heart surgery. Surgeons are experimenting with minimally invasive techniques, but for now, the open approach leads to the most successful outcomes.

Q. How did the da Vinci Surgical System get its name?

A. For many, "da Vinci" conjures up the famous Mona Lisa, or perhaps a bestselling novel. However, Leonardo da Vinci is also credited with inventing the very first robot. In addition, he was well known for his intricate, anatomically correct drawings of the human body. Similarly, the da Vinci Surgical System provides surgeons with an intricate, precise view of the human body during the operation.

Learn more about robotic surgery at MedStar Franklin Square:

Location Information

For a physician referral, please call 443-777-7900.

MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center
9000 Franklin Square Drive
Baltimore, MD 21237

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