With the introduction of the Da Vinci robotic surgical system, minimally invasive surgical procedures have taken the medical community by storm. These procedures enable surgeons to increase surgical accuracy and improve patient outcomes while reducing recovery times. Many early adopters pioneered robotic techniques in the past decade, and now the option of robotic surgery is being offered at more hospitals and by more surgeons in the Dallas area. Still, it is important for patients not to get caught up in the awe of how the procedure is performed; rather, they should remain focused on their needs as a patient. The following are 3 questions all patients should ask a prospective robotic surgeon during a consultation.
#1 – Is The Robotic Procedure Required
Not all procedures require the use of a robot. Any patient considering a procedure that is available through the Da Vinci system should get clarification as to why the robotic procedure is being recommended during both the primary consult and the second opinion. Though a very high percentage of robotic procedures are successful, the process does introduce variables that do not exist in a normal procedure. Therefore, unless there is a specific advantage that the robotic procedure will bring to a patient, the introduction of additional variables should be avoided in any surgical procedure.
#2 – Ask Your Surgeon How Many Robotic Procedures They Have Performed
Robotic surgery is a completely new skill set that is learned much later in a surgeon’s career. There is no substitute for experience. Ask your surgeon very pointed questions as to the number of procedures they have performed and for how long they have been performing these procedures.
#3 – Inquire Into Your Surgeons Experience in a Specific Procedure
There are multiple procedures that can be performed with robotic equipment. A hysterectomy and the removal of uterine fibroids, for example, are two different surgeries. As a patient, you should seek specialization from your healthcare provider. During your consult, ask questions regarding the experience your surgeon has in performing your specific procedure robotically.
Robotic surgical procedures offer one of the largest medical breakthroughs in the healthcare industry. As a patient, educate yourself on the implementation of robotics in the procedure you require and find a surgeon experienced in your specific procedure.