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Robotic Weight Loss Surgery

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Robot-assisted surgery for weight loss

Weight loss surgery can be a great way to help individuals with a high body mass index size down and live healthier, safer lives. Traditionally, these procedures were made through a large incision, but medical advancements can now allow us to perform the same surgeries with minimally invasive techniques. Laparoscopic approaches revolutionized bariatric surgery by allowing the procedure to be performed with very small incisions, which may lead to faster and easier recovery. Robot-assisted surgery is another minimally invasive approach that can optimize patient outcomes.

Weight Loss Surgeries Available

Some of the most common weight loss surgeries performed with the use of a robot-assisted surgical system, like the da Vinci, are the gastric bypass and the gastric sleeve. In a gastric bypass surgery, the stomach is divided and reconnected to create a new, smaller stomach. A gastric sleeve, also known as a sleeve gastrectomy, also creates a smaller stomach, but instead of leaving the remaining stomach in the body, it removes the tissue altogether.

Some patients are pursuing biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch, or sometimes commonly referred to simply as duodenal switch. Either as a stand-alone operation or as the second stage following a sleeve gastrectomy, this procedure combines the benefits of a gastric bypass and sleeve.

The goal of each of these surgeries is to minimize the amount of food the stomach can hold, affect the hunger and metabolism hormones, and change the absorption of food. This causes not only weight loss, but significant improvements (if not resolution) of health parameters including diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, heart disease, arthritis, and more.

The Benefits of Robotic Surgical Devices

Performing a gastric bypass or gastric sleeve with the help of a robotic device can make the surgery much easier for the surgeon. The operating surgeon is still in complete control of the surgery, but instead of making the incisions by hand, they will use the arms of the da Vinci system to control small instruments within the abdomen. Not only does this device offer greater flexibility, it also provides the surgeon with a 3D view inside the body. Ultimately, the patient may have a shorter hospital stay, less pain, fewer complications, and an improved surgical outcome compared to open surgery.

A robot-assisted surgery offers the following potential benefits:

  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Less recovery time overall
  • Less risk of follow-up surgery
  • Low chance of gastrointestinal leaks
  • Minimal to no scarring