Minimally Invasive Surgery

Robotic Assisted Surgery

Advances in robotic technology have greatly assisted the movement to minimally invasive surgery. The first efforts behind robotic-assisted surgery came in the early 90’s with the collaboration between a number of sources including the United States Government and NASA.

The purpose of the collaboration was to develop and improve technology to a point where robotics would have the physical skill to perform surgical procedures on the human ear, nose, throat, face, hand and brain. Within the first few years, the collaboration developed a robotic device to be interactively manipulated by surgeons. The main advantage of this device was the assistance it provided surgeons in performing procedures that natural hand tremors made too difficult to complete.

By 1994, the collaboration developed a robotic arm capable of six different degrees of motion. It’s this technology that was fully researched, and eventually approved by the FDA. This technology is also included in the da Vinci Robotic-Assisted Surgical System at Queen of the Valley Hospital.

The new technology is state-of-the-art and only available in 100-odd hospitals worldwide, of which most are academic centers. The device uses a mini video camera, the width of a pencil, as well as tiny instruments that mimic the surgeon’s maneuvers. These tools are attached to robotic arms, which are operated via remote control by a highly trained surgeon who monitors his or her own work on a video screen with 10x magnification.

The surgeon is stationed across the room from the patient, working at a control panel which includes a view scope with three-dimensional representation of what’s happening inside the patient’s body. Below the view scope are two hand controls which resemble joysticks. These controls allow the surgeon to remotely control incisions, tie a stitch, or perform other needed tasks. At the surgeon’s feet, pedals are used to adjust the zoom of the camera lens.

Robotic Surgical Procedures at the Queen

The following are surgical procedures performed at the Queen with the use of the robot and the physicians who perform them:


  • Hysterectomy
  • Myomectomy
  • Sacrocolpopexy


  • Kidney Mass Removal
  • Radical Prostatectomy
  • Partial Nephrectomy


  • Anti-Reflux Procedure
  • Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting with IMA Mobilization
  • Epicardial Lead Placement for the Treatment of Heart Failure
  • Esophagectomy
  • Mediastinal mass resection
  • Pericardial Window
  • Thymectomy

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