Department of Anesthesiology & Perioperative Care: School of Medicine: University of California, Irvine

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Health Facts

Robotics Surgery

What is robotic surgery?

Robotic surgery provides an alternative to conventional procedures. The physicians use the da Vinci robot to perform cardiac, thoracic, gynecologic, urologic and general surgery procedures. The advantages of robotic surgery over conventional surgery are a decrease in blood loss, less pain and small incisions. Patients also report a quicker recovery time after experiencing a minimally invasive robotic surgery.

How does it work?

Seated only a few feet away from the operating table, surgeons view the patient's anatomy through a screen that produces a 3D image magnified ten times. The surgeon controls the robot that operates on the patient through carefully maneuvers a pair of knobs. On the patient's end, the robot's arms are fitted with five to eight millimeter surgical instruments and a small camera scope that provides a detailed view of the patient.

Some benefits include:

  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Less pain and scarring
  • Less risk of infection
  • Less blood loss and fewer transfusions
  • Faster recovery
  • Quicker return to normal activities

Robotic Hysterectomy

What to expect for a Robotic Hysterectomy

Types of anesthesia

General anesthesia, that means you will know what is going on when the surgery starts till you arrive to the recovery room. Occasionally, you may experience sore throat after surgery but it should improve over the next 24 hours after surgery.

Day of discharge

You will usually spend overnight or few days in the hospital.

What to expect after surgery and post-surgical care

  • Pain: you will experience pain at the locations where the incisions are made. The pain medication will be usually given through the intravenous line, but as you can consume food, the pain medication will be switch to orally.
  • Take your temperature two to three times a day
  • You may wake up with an eye protector over your face and have some facial swelling
  • An upset stomach and occasional vomiting can occur. If you have history of nausea and vomiting during car ride or after surgery in the past, please let your surgeon and anesthesiologist know in advance.
  • You may have bloody discharge from your vagina
  • Eat healthy and drink a lots of water
  • Avoid stress
  • Make sure your stool is soft and if needed use stool softener
  • No straining of bowel movement and do not use any enema or suppository for the first few weeks
  • Your doctor will give you the instructions for the wound care and when to return to work

Activities (Please follow the detailed instructions given by your doctor)

  • Rest and increase your activities gradually over time
  • No lifting for several weeks after surgery
  • Stay active by taking several small walks during the day. They are very important to your recovery.
  • Do most of your sleeping at night

When to contact a doctor

  • Fever greater than 100.5°F
  • Persistent abdominal pain and pelvic pain
  • Persistent nausea and vomiting
  • Discharge/drainage from the wound

Robotic Prostatectomy

What to Expect for a Robotic Prostatectomy

Types of anesthesia

General anesthesia, that means you will not know what is going on when the surgery starts. Occasionally, you may experience sore throat after surgery but it should improve over the next 24 hours after surgery.

Day of discharge

The patient usually spends over night or few days in the hospital.

What to expect after surgery and post-surgical care

  • Pain: you will experience pain at the locations where the incisions are made. The pain medication will be usually given through the intravenous line, but as you can consume food, the pain medication will be switch to orally.
  • A catheter will be placed into your bladder. You will have to keep it in place until your doctor removes it.
  • Make sure urine is draining freely and learn to irrigate the catheter if there is no flow or your bladder is feeling full
  • Taking your temperature two to three times a day
  • Scrotal swelling and/or perineal discomfort
  • You may have urine leakage after catheter is removed, during ejaculation ,or during a bowel movement
  • You may wake up with an eye protector over your face and some facial swelling
  • An upset stomach and occasional vomiting can happen. If you have history of nausea and vomiting during car ride or after surgery in the past, please let your surgeon and anesthesiologist know in advance.
  • Make sure your stool is soft and if needed use a stool softener
  • No straining of bowel movement and do not use any enema or suppository for the first few weeks
  • Your doctor will give you the instructions for the wound care

Activities (Please follow the detailed instructions given by your doctor)

  • Rest and increase your activities gradually over time.
  • No lifting over 20 lbs for 4 weeks after surgery
  • Stay active by taking several small walks during the day. They are very important to your recovery.
  • Do most of your sleeping at night.

When to contact a doctor

  • If you have any shortness of breath, chest pain or lower leg swelling. (Call your doctor and go to the emergency room)
  • Fever greater than 100.5°F
  • Not able to make the urine flow freely through the catheter
  • Persistent abdominal pain and pelvic pain
  • Persistent nausea and vomiting