The doctors use prior MRI imaging of a patient as a sort of internal Google Map. Once it's in there, the robot can be controlled by doctors outside the body to capture images, take tissue samples, deliver medicine, and even perform minor surgical procedures.
The da Vinci® Surgical System combines computer and robotic technologies to create a new category of surgical treatment, robotic-assisted laparoscopic, thoracoscopic or endoscopic surgery. By providing surgeons with enhanced capabilities, the da Vinci Surgical System makes it possible to treat a broader range of conditions using a minimally invasive approach. This means that with da Vinci, you can have major surgery with only a few tiny incisions. In addition, your surgeon can operate with better visualization, precision, dexterity and control than possible using traditional surgical approaches.
Clinical studies suggest that the extended capabilities provided by the da Vinci System may help surgeons provide better clinical outcomes than conventional open and minimally invasive surgery allow – for example, better cancer control and a lower incidence of impotence and incontinence with da Vinci Prostatectomy.1
To date, da Vinci has been used in everything from minimally invasive heart surgery to minimally invasive cancer surgery, to treat conditions as diverse as prostate cancer, endometrial cancer, morbid obesity and mitral valve regurgitation.
In short, the da Vinci Surgical System combines robotics and surgical technology as never before, enabling your surgeon to provide the most effective and least invasive treatment option available for a wide range of complex conditions.
The robots will be ready for release in several months in areas round Europe, the U.S., and Japan. In a hospital with about 400 beds, one of these robots will have the ability to finish the job of delivering prescriptions in about 2 hours. Generally it takes a human pharmacist about 4 hours to get the job done.
The robots are controlled with a joystick from a remote site. The doctor 'driving' the robot can view the patient, ask questions and read patient records, view X-rays and test results from the console. The patient sees the doctor's image on the robots 'face'.
Although the robot does not physically examine the patient it allows face-to-face contact between the doctor and patient, providing immediate access to specialists.