Meet the Robot: da Vinci® Surgical System Instruments & Capabilities

Using the most current robotics technology, the minimally invasive da Vinci Surgical System®enables surgeons to perform delicate and complex operations through the tiniest of incisions. The revolutionary da Vinci® robot gives surgeons superior vision, precision, dexterity and control. For people who are unfamiliar with robot-assisted surgery, Houston-area gynecological surgeon Michele Blackwell, MD, FACOG presents an introduction to da Vinci® instruments and capabilities.

The da Vinci Surgical System® consists of several key components:

  • Ergonomically designed console where the surgeon sits while operating
  • Patient-side cart where the patient lays during surgery
  • Four interactive robotic arms
  • High-definition 3D vision system
  • Specially designed wrist instruments.

da Vinci® uses state-of-the-art robotic technology that allows for scaling of surgeon hand movements. The system filters and translates the typical surgeon hand movements into precise, micro-versions of movements of the instruments inside the patient’s body. Many common surgical procedures, such as hysterectomies, have been revolutionized by this new minimally invasive technology.

Surgeon Console

Using the da Vinci Surgical System®, the surgeon operates while seated comfortably at a console where he or she can view, in high definition, a 3D image of the inside of the patient’s body. Below the display, the surgeon’s fingers grasp the master controls with hands and wrists naturally positioned in line with his or her eyes. This system enables the robot to seamlessly translate the surgeon’s hand, wrist and finger movements into precise, realtime movements of surgical instruments.

Patient-side Cart

During surgery, the patient lies on the patient-side cart–it includes either three or four robotic arms that carry out the commands of the surgeon. The robotic arms move around fixed pivot points which:

  • Reduce trauma to the patient
  • Improve the cosmetic outcome
  • Increase overall surgical precision

The da Vinci® system does not eliminate the need for your doctor’s presence; rather, it enhances her surgical capabilities. Your da Vinci® surgeon directly controls each and every surgical maneuver. Repeated safety checks prevent any independent movement of the instruments or robotic arms.

3-D High Definition Vision System

The da Vinci Surgical System® utilizes a 3-dimensional vision system to deliver high-resolution video into the viewer located at the surgeon console. This provides your surgeon with visual sharpness of greater acuity than ever before available.

As the surgeon operates, the da Vinci® vision system displays high definition video in 3D for true perception of depth. This means that your surgeon’s visual capabilities are greatly enhanced. The totally immersive quality of the 3D experience permits a virtual extension of the surgeon’s hands and eyes into the patient’s body.

Benefits for Patients

The cutting edge, innovative da Vinci® system offers a number of important benefits for patients, including:

  • Less post-surgical pain
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Faster recovery
  • Faster return to normal daily activity
  • Fewer complications
  • Less bleeding and decreased need for blood transfusions
  • Fewer post surgical infections

For da Vinci® surgeons, the minimally invasive robot-assisted system enables better precision, control and vastly superior outcomes. For da Vinci® patients, this means you get better faster…all with almost no visible scarring. Your gynecologist can explain more about your surgical options and whether robotic surgery is right for you.

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Dr. Michele Blackwell

Tel: 832.932.5138 |
Fax: 832.932.5142


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