The Da Vinci® system consists of a control console and a patient cart. The patient cart is placed in an assigned position next to the patient. Access ports are inserted at defined locations into the abdomen through which operative instruments are inserted. These instruments are connected to the robotic arms of the patient cart. These robotics arms, unlike human hands, do not tire and do not tremor.
Robotic arms connected to instruments already inserted into patient’s abdomen
The precise movement and operation of the inserted instruments is actually actuated by a set of complex levels mechanism at the control console. The operating arms cannot execute spontaneous movement on its own and only move in response to the rocking of the control levels. Actuating the control levels in specifics ways result in the immediate real time execution of a specific movement of the operating instrument and the translation of the movement of the actuating levels into movement of the robotic arms can be scaled according to the nature of the operation. For example, operation on small structures such as suturing of small blood vessels requires fine delicate movements and accordingly, the rocking of the control levels is scaled down to effect small precise movement of the operation instruments.
As a further refinement to standard key hole operative instruments which can only be rocked, rotated, opened and closed, Da Vinci® instruments can be angulated in all directions in addition to all these movement affording extra dexterity and manoeuvrability inside body cavities.
Thus, even in complex and technically challenging surgeries such as prostatectomy, excision of a lowly placed rectal cancer, excision of fibroid without hysterectomy, excision of pelvic lymph nodes, surgeons were able to adopt the Da Vinci® system to produce results which match standard open operations but with significantly reduced post-operative pain and blood loss resulting in speedier recovery. In many instances, permanent functional outcomes such as urine control and erection in men are also enhanced. Da Vinci® robotic surgery has now become the standard of care for many operations, especially pelvic surgery like prostatectomy and hysterectomy in many institutions.