1. What is Robotic Thoracic Surgery?
This is minimally invasive surgery utilizing the Intuitive Surgical da Vinci Robotic System for surgical assistance. It offers the surgeon many advantages within the chest cavity including greater surgical precision, increased range of motion, improved dexterity, enhanced visualization and improved access
2. What are the benefits to Robotic Thoracic Surgery?
As an essentially closed procedure performed through port incisions without rib spreading the patient is afforded many of the following benefits: Less tissue trauma, less pain, shorter hospital stay, faster return to normal activity, less blood loss, fewer transfusions, reduced risk of infection, and less scarring. None of those benefits are guaranteed, as surgery is both patient and procedure specific.
3. Is Robotic Surgery covered by Insurance?
Da Vinci Surgery is categorized as robot-assisted minimally invasive surgery, so any insurance that covers minimally invasive surgery generally covers it. This is true for widely held insurance plans like Medicare.
4. What are the applications of Robotic Thoracic Surgery?
Robotic surgery is utilized in all aspects of Lung Cancer surgery, anterior mediastinal tumors (including thymectomy) posterior mediastinal tumors, esophageal surgery, and paraesophageal hernia repair. Specific applications are patient dependent and should be determined in consultation with the surgeon.
5. Are there any specific limitations with Robotic Thoracic Surgery?
Robotic Surgery has limited application with large tumors and procedures requiring sensitive tactile feedback.
6. Can I see the robot?
Yes, please go to the link section of our website and click on the GMA ABC News Da Vinci Surgical Robot link for a summary. Procedure specific typical operative video can be visualized by request at your surgical consultation visits.