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What is robotic surgery?

Robotic surgery, also called robot-assisted surgery, is a minimally invasive alternative to open surgery. Instead of one large incision, your surgeon will operate through a few tiny ones—allowing for faster recovery with less pain, scarring and blood loss than regular surgery. Robot-assisted surgery may also be an option if you’re not a candidate for traditional surgery.

Robot-assisted surgery gives your doctor better vision and enhanced skills in the operating room. During the procedure, your surgeon remains in complete control and uses highly flexible 3D cameras that provide a high definition view. This view far exceeds what’s visible to the human eye during traditional surgery.

These robotic instruments provide a range of motion and level of precision that the human hand cannot, so your surgeon can manipulate delicate tools to access hard-to-reach areas of your body with improved accuracy. 

Why choose us

At Northwell Health, we’re raising the bar for surgical precision. Our surgeons consistently undergo extensive training simulations to refine and master their robotic surgical techniques—keeping them on the leading edge of the always-evolving robotics field.

Similar to the simulation training used by pilots, our training system hones surgeons’ skills so they can help their patients recover faster with less pain. Our surgeons also teach and proctor the next generation of qualifying robotic surgeons through our Epicenter-designated observation programs and surgical fellowships at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell. 

Frequently asked questions

Q: What is minimally invasive surgery?

A: Minimally invasive surgery requires smaller incisions than the large openings associated with “open surgery.” Minimally invasive surgery has become an important standard of care for many surgical treatments.

Q: Is there an actual robot performing the surgery?

A:  The simple answer is no. Instead, various surgical technologies are integrated with a computer system to improve your surgeon’s range of motion, dexterity and precision. Your surgeon remains in total control, using a tiny camera and very precise instruments to perform the procedure.

Q: What are the benefits of a robotic surgery?

A: The smaller incisions used in robotic surgery mean that most patients can expect a shorter hospital stay, less blood loss, reduced pain and scarring, and a faster recovery. This advanced surgical approach lets your doctor operate with more precision and accuracy during delicate procedures.

Q: What should I look for when selecting a robot-assisted approach?

A: Look for experience, training and a high-volume program. Ask your surgeon about his/her level of experience using a robot-assisted approach. It’s important to feel confident that you are receiving high quality care from an experienced surgeon who is part of an established program.

Our experts are at the forefront of minimally invasive robotic surgery in every way. Our surgical leaders are highly specialized, use the latest technologies, and receive training simulations to refine and master their robotic surgical techniques. 

Q: Is robot-assisted surgery appropriate for every case?

A: No. While robot-assisted surgery is an effective option for many, it is not appropriate for every medical case. Your doctor will review your specific risk factors, lifestyle and condition to provide the most appropriate treatment option for you.

Q: How soon after robot-assisted surgery can I go home?

A: Every case is different, but don’t be surprised if you are able to go home the day after surgery—or even sooner.

Q: How long will it take to recover?

A: In many cases, the recovery time after robotic surgery is shorter than with traditional open surgery. Just remember, even though you may experience little pain and may only have a small bandage to show after the procedure, robot-assisted surgery is still major surgery. Give your body the time it needs to heal and recover properly.

Q: Is robot-assisted surgery an option for overweight patients?

A: Yes. Some patients who are overweight may be considered better candidates for robot-assisted surgery than for open surgery. However, every case is different. Your doctor will discuss a treatment approach that is best for you. 

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