The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
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Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Surgery

The da Vinci Surgical System (Intuitive Surgical, Sunnyvale, CA) has become available in recent years for use in laparoscopic prostatectomy, gynecological procedures, general surgery, otolaryngology and cardiothoracic procedures.

ROBOTIC-ASSISTED SURGERY — In general, minimally invasive laparoscopic procedures, compared to open surgery, have a lower rate of infection, cause less postoperative pain and shorten hospital stays. Most robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgery is performed in urology and gynecology, but it has also been used in cardiac surgery for mitral valve repair and some other procedures. The arms of a robot can access difficult-to-reach spaces through small incisions, filter out hand tremors, cut, sew, clamp and make other complex movements with great precision. Surgeons who have mastered the devices say one limitation is decreased tactile feedback, but with the ability of robotic arms to pivot and ... more      

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