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Robot-Assisted Surgery FAQ

How does robot-assisted surgery work?

During a robot-assisted procedure, the surgeon sits in the system console a few feet from the patient. The surgeon views the operative field — magnified 10 times — on a 3-D monitor.

The procedure requires six small, keyhole-sized incisions through which your surgeon places the instruments and 3-D high-definition camera that are attached to the robotic arms. The surgeon is able to manipulate the instruments on the robotic arms with precision and absolutely no tremor.

What are the advantages of robot-assisted surgery?

For patients, robot-assisted surgical procedures typically result in minimal blood loss, less pain and scarring, fewer infections and faster recovery times than they might achieve with traditional “open incision” procedures, or even laparoscopic surgery.

How do I know if I am a candidate for robot-assisted procedures?

Not every patient is a candidate for robot-assisted procedures. UCI Health physicians work closely with each patient to determine which treatment options offer the best outcomes. One of those options may include robot-assisted surgery.

Will the robotic surgical system make the surgeon unnecessary?

No. In fact, the robot-assisted surgical system enables surgeons to be more precise, advancing their technique and enhancing their ability to perform complex surgeries. The system replicates the surgeon’s movements in real time. It cannot be programmed to move on its own. 

How does the surgeon control the system?

The surgeon’s fingers manipulate the master controls below the display. The surgeon’s movements are executed by right and left robot arms at the patient's side. These arms move precisely, without tremor.

The surgeon also controls the position of the camera in order to see deep within the body, into tiny spaces if needed.

View a video of a robot-assisted prostate surgery ›

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