Term: daVinci Surgical System
The da Vinci Surgical System is a system that replaces traditional surgery with technologically advanced robotics.
The da Vinci surgical system has three main integrated sub-systems.
1. The surgery console which is the control center of the systems and allows the surgeon to view the surgical field and
control movement of the endoscopic instruments and endoscope.
2. Patient-Side cart this cart consist of three or four articulated mechanical arms which supports the endoscopic instruments arms and camera arm during surgical procedures.
Each daVinci patient cart contains 3 arms called “EndoWrists” and one 3D camera. These EndoWrists target the area of surgery via 3 small incisions on the body. This enables the surgeon to operate with incredible precision
3. Electrical Cart- This is where hardware and software is supported, such as the electrical surgical unit, suction pumps and the light source for the endoscope.
The daVinci is used for many a number of complex types of surgeries. Surgeons typically use them for prostatectomies, cardiac valve repair, and gynecologic procedures. The advantages of using the daVinci system versus traditional surgery is that the surgeries become minimally invasive. This is due to the fact that the daVinci doesn’t have hands, so the incisions only need to be as large as the EndoWrist.
  • As mentioned before, minimally invasive
  • Extremely accurate and precise
  • Reduced risk of infection
  • Less blood loss and need for blood transfusions
  • Shorter hospital stays - Only 24hours in most cases
  • Less pain and scarring
  • Faster recovery to normal activities - 5 days post-op
  • The human touch can never be replaced
  • The high costs prevent it from widespread use
  • Still a developing technological field
What the Physicians think:
FDA conducted a survey for experienced surgeons who use the de Vinci Surgical System to find a better understanding of their perspective on the different challenges raised with this system. And this is what they said.
  • Many physicians reported that they had to perform several surgeries before they felt completely comfortable using the system
  • Physicians that were familiar with laparoscopic felt it was easier to transition to the da Vinci surgical system
Future Outlook
With the advent of more and more robotic technology, it should decrease the costs which would allow more surgery centers and hospitals to have them. The da Vinci system could also be completely controlled remotely so that a specialist doctor would not have to travel to perform surgeries.

Web Resources:

Related Terminology:
Surgical Robots


Here is a demonstration of the accuracy of the da Vinci surgery system. In this video, it is used to make and throw a paper airplane the size of a penny.