Boulder Community Hospital has the most experienced robotic surgery team in Boulder County. Over the past three years, our specially-trained surgeons have performed nearly 500 procedures in the areas of gynecology, urology and general surgery.
Until recently, surgery patients had to choose between traditional “open” surgery with a large incision or laparoscopy, which uses small incisions but cannot be used for all procedures. Boulder Community Hospital offers da Vinci robot-assisted surgery as an innovative option for patients. This breakthrough technology is a minimally invasive alternative and can be used for many complex procedures.
Thanks to its smaller incisions and greater surgical precision, da Vinci surgery offers important benefits, including:
da Vinci Robotic Surgical System
Instead of the large incisions used in traditional surgery, the da Vinci System uses small incisions that allow the surgeon to insert miniature instruments and a tiny high-definition, three-dimensional camera into a patient’s body. Seated at the da Vinci console, your surgeon views a magnified high-resolution, 3-D image of the surgical site.
Your surgeon uses the console’s hand controls to guide the robotic arms which hold laparoscopic surgical instruments. State-of-the-art robotic and computer technology converts the surgeon’s large hand movements into precise small movements, resulting in tremendous dexterity. The robotic “wrists” can rotate a full 360 degrees, enabling your surgeon to control the miniature surgical i
nstruments with unprecedented accuracy, flexibility and range of motion. The da Vinci System requires that every surgical maneuver be performed with direct input from your surgeon – the machine cannot move on its own.
Boulder Community is the only hospital in Boulder County to use this next-generation technology to perform minimally invasive procedures, including
What is minimally invasive surgery (MIS)?
MIS is surgery typically performed through small incisions, or operating ports, rather than large incisions, resulting in potentially shorter recovery times, fewer complications, reduced hospitalization costs and less trauma to the patient. While MIS has become the standard-of-care for some surgical procedures, MIS has not been adopted for other complex procedures – for example, prostatectomy.
Intuitive Surgical, the manufacturer of the da Vinci System, believes MIS adoption has been slowed because surgical procedures that require manipulating fine tissue, such as dissecting and suturing, are more difficult to do in MIS than in open surgery. However, the innovative da Vinci technology enables the extension of MIS techniques to new types of complex procedures.
Does the da Vinci Surgical System replace the surgeon?
On the contrary, the da Vinci System enables surgeons to be more precise, advancing their technique and enhancing their capability to perform complex minimally invasive surgery. The system replicates the surgeon's movements in real time -- it cannot be programmed to move on its own. It is not able to make decisions, move or perform any surgical maneuver without the surgeon's direct control.
Is a surgeon using the da Vinci Surgical System operating in "virtual reality"?
Thanks to a miniature video camera, the surgeon views the actual surgical field where he is operating in real time. The surgeon has a high-resolution, 3-D view of the surgical area and never sees a “virtual” image. Surgery is done through tiny incisions using miniature wristed instruments. The system cannot be programmed to perform any maneuver on its own outside of the surgeon's direct, real-time control.
What are the benefits of da Vinci Surgery compared with traditional methods of surgery?
Some of the major benefits experienced by surgeons include greater surgical precision, increased range of motion, improved dexterity and enhanced visualization. Benefits experienced by patients may 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.
Is da Vinci Surgery covered by insurance?
da Vinci Surgery is categorized as robot-assisted minimally invasive surgery (MIS), so any insurance that covers MIS generally covers da Vinci Surgery. This is true for widely held insurance plans like Medicare. It is important to note that coverage will depend on each individual’s benefits package.
Has the FDA cleared the da Vinci Surgical System?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared the da Vinci Surgical System for a wide range of procedures. Refer to the FDA clearance page for specific clearances and representative uses.
View more answers to frequently asked questions here.
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