Robotic Bariatric Surgery- Bariatric Surgery

Robotic or robot-assisted bariatric surgery is similar to ordinary bariatric surgery techniques, with the exception that the surgery is far less invasive and the surgeon is aided with the help of robotic technology. Robotic surgery was approved using the 'da Vinci Surgical System' by the FDA in the year 2000.

Robotic surgery is available for all kinds of bariatric surgery. Bariatric surgery is traditionally aimed at correcting the size of the stomach to aid an overweight person in losing weight. It is generally only an option when a person's weight puts them at risk of acquiring a chronic disease, such as heart disease, and if lifestyle and dietary changes have failed to help.

A gastric by-pass is the most common type of bariatric surgery. Other types of bariatric surgery include:

  • Biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch
  • Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB)
  • Roux-en-Y
  • Sleeve gastrectomy

A robot-assisted bariatric operation takes place inside tiny incisions, through which the arms of the robotic system enter. The da Vinci Surgical System contains a camera arm and thin mechanical arms which have surgical instruments attached to them. The surgeon is seated at a computer screen near the operating table and controls the robotic arms via a high- definition interface.

This method of bariatric surgery is more precise than other surgical techniques, as the robotic arms have a far broader range of movements and can act with far more accuracy than the surgeon. The surgeon also has a far greater degree of control as they can see and magnify the operation site on the screen.

Robotic bariatric surgery has a reduced recovery time when compared to other surgical techniques.

A patient may expect to stay in hospital for 3-5 days, during which they won't be able to eat for the first 1-2 days. A strict diet is to be followed for the next 12 weeks, beginning on liquid foods before weaning back onto solids. The patient may experience body aches, fatigue, coldness, dry skin, hair loss and mood fluctuations during this time.

Before considering robotic bariatric surgery, discuss the pros and cons with a professional first to see if it's right for you.

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