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Frequently Asked Questions about Robotic Surgery

Ques: What is robotic surgery and how does it work ?

A) Robotic Surgery is the "remote activated or user-manipulated motion control, imaging and communication devices, operated via computer hardware and software to enable physicians to conduct an increasing array of surgical procedures in a minimally invasive manner." The surgery is performed in a minimally invasive technique, allowing for minimum cuts and post operative bruises. Robotic surgery involves sophisticated medical devices allowing surgeons to operate through tiny incisions, using improved, magnified visualization in high-definition 3D.

Ques: Given it’s still a new concept, why should I still go for robotic surgery ?

A) Robotic surgery allows surgeons to perform minimally invasive surgeries with the control, range of motion and 3-D visualization of traditional "open" surgery with the added advantages of less bleeding, less pain and scarring, shortened hospital stays, and quicker recovery time. For prostate procedures, robotic surgery may improve the ability to spare the nerves that are important in limiting the side effects like incontinence and impotence. For most patients, smaller incisions create less trauma, a swifter return to mobility and day-to-day activities, plus more cosmetically pleasing results.

Ques: How is robot-assisted surgery better than traditional laparoscopy ?

A) As against conventional laparoscopy where the surgeon has to keep an eye on the video monitor to see inside the surgical site, with robotic surgery, the instrument maneuvers are higher in dexterity and precision. In fact, the robot has been designed to alleviate hand tremors thus further aiding precise hand movements. For sake of patients, positives include a shorter hospital stay, less pain, less risk of infection, less blood loss, fewer transfusions, less scarring, faster recovery and a quicker return to normal daily activities. None of these benefits can be guaranteed, as surgery is necessarily both patient- and procedure-specific.

Ques: Who is best suited for robot-assisted surgery ?

A) Any patient who has not had too many abdominal surgeries and has not suffered any significant cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases is fit for robotic surgeries. In fact, usual abdominal surgeries such as cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal), appendectomy or inguinal hernia repair warrant no concerns.

Ques: Will my insurance cover the expenses of robotic surgery ?

A) Since this treatment is predominantly defined as robot-assisted minimally invasive surgery, it shold go okay with any insurance that covers minimally invasive surgery. However, it is important you cross check with your insurance service as your coverage will depend on your plan and benefits package.

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