The da Vinci System

The da Vinci System has been designed to improve upon conventional laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery in which the surgeon operates while standing, using hand-held, long-shafted instruments, which have no wrists.

The da Vinci System consists of a surgeon console that is typically in the same room as the patient and a patient-side cart which has four interactive robotic arms controlled from the console. Three of the arms are for tools that hold objects, scissors, retractors and electrocautery instruments. The fourth arm is for the camera. The camera has two lenses that gives the surgeon 10 times magnified stereoscopic vision from the console. The surgeon sits at the console and looks through two eye holes at a 3-D image of the procedure, meanwhile manoeuvring the arms with two hand controllers.

The surgical assistant sits close to the patient and is able to change the robotic instruments as required and pass swabs and sutures to the surgeon.

The da Vinci System wristed instruments bend and rotate far greater than the human wrist. As a result the surgeon is able to operate with enhanced vision, precision, dexterity and control. The surgeon is 100% in control of the da Vinci System, which translates hand movements into smaller, more precise movements of the instruments inside the body a process known as motion scaling.

Finally by controlling the instruments in a seated position from a console, the surgeons are themselves less likely to suffer the back, neck or shoulder problems that are associated with longer conventional open or laparoscopic procedures.

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