Endowrist: From Katie Couric To da Vinci

From Katie Couric To da Vinci (Robot That Is).

Ever since Katie Couric underwent a screening colonoscopy on national television, people everywhere have become more familiar with colon and rectal cancer and the polyps that give rise to those cancers.  As a result, more people have had colonoscopies, and the incidence of colon and rectal cancer has steadily decreased.  But what happens when a cancer is discovered?  What next?

Most likely, you will be referred to a colon and rectal surgeon (also known as a proctologist or colorectal surgeon).  And if your colon and rectal surgeon was the physician who performed your colonoscopy, you will most likely be advised to have an operation to remove the tumor, along with any adjacent lymph nodes.  The sooner the better.

Open Surgery To Robotic Surgery.  Revolution To Evolution.

In the earlier surgical era, the operation involved a large incision and a lengthy hospital stay.  This was followed by the laparoscopic revolution using small incisions for cameras and instruments, a shorter hospital stay and a quicker return to the activities of daily life.  All in all, the laparoscopic era was a tremendous advance in surgical techniques and care.

We are in the midst of an evolution.  Robotic surgery, also known as robot-assisted surgery, is making inroads into how surgeons remove tumors and repair non-cancerous colon conditions.

From The Prostate To The Colon And Rectum.

Robotic surgery was initially used for prostate operations and has been in use for colon and rectal operations since 2002.  Small incisions are still used, but the incision used to remove the specimen is now even smaller than in laparoscopic operations.  Recovery time is shorter and patients return home quicker.  This exciting technology is being used in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills and in many large cities across the country.

Is The Robot’s Wrist Better Than Your Wrist?

How is this possible?  The view of the operative field is greatly improved because the da Vinci Si robot system, which has 2 high definition cameras and a 3-Dimensional view.  Additionally, the instruments inserted into the body function like hands.  They have “endowrists”.  The range of motion of these instruments is even greater than the human hand.  The endowrist has the following features:

  • 7 degrees of different directional movement.
  • 90 degrees of motion in each direction.
  • Finger tip instrument control with movement that is intuitive to the surgeon (the robot and the instruments are made by Intuitive)
  • Human tremor reduction.

The Robot is Steady And Accurate, But The Surgeon Is In Charge.

It is important to note that the robot is always under the control of the surgeon.  Equally important, your surgeon should be trained and certified in the use of the robot and equipment.  The robot is not a substitute for skill and experience.

Los Angeles Colon and Rectal Surgical Associates.

The surgeons at Los Angeles Colon and Rectal Surgical Associates are certified in the use of the robot as an assistant at surgical procedures.  The robot is currently employed in operations to:

  • Remove tumors and lymph nodes of the colon and rectum.
  • Remove diseased colons in certain cases of diverticulitis.
  • Repair enteroceles.
  • Repair certain types of rectal prolapse, whereby the rectum protrudes from the anal opening.

Your colorectal surgeon at Los Angeles Colon and Rectal Surgical Associates will evaluate you and answer all of your questions.  You will be able to find out if you are a candidate for a robotic operation and treatment of your problem.  Call (310)273-2310 for an appointment.