Advance with MUSC Health

The Age of Robotic Surgery

Advance With MUSC Health
February 23, 2021
Hatem Abdallah, M.D.

By: Hatem Abdallah, M.D.
MUSC Health – Floyd Medical Group

As a general surgeon, robotic minimally invasive surgery has become a powerful tool in treatment options for my patients. With 3D visualization, enhanced imaging technology, improved ergonomics and greater precision in movement, robotic surgery is a major advance from traditional laparoscopic surgery. The surgeon is always in control of the robotic instruments which are designed to mimic and enhance the surgeon’s hands. With robotic hernia surgery, patients will often describe less pain with less need for narcotic medications and a faster return to regular activities compared to traditional open or laparoscopic hernia repair. It is not uncommon for a hernia operation to require an open incision and a 4 day stay in the hospital. The same surgery using robotics can be performed with several small incisions with the patient going home the day after surgery with minimal pain.

Another example is with gallbladder removal surgery or (cholecystectomy). Using fluorescent dye given before surgery in combination with the 3D visualization technology of the robot we are able to see critical bile duct structures. With traditional laparoscopic surgery these structures can be more challenging to see. This technology is also used in robotic colon cancer surgery when a connection between different parts of the intestines are created. As part of the surgery it is crucial to make sure the blood supply is adequate for that connection to heal. Robotic surgery allows us to, in real time, access the viability of that connection and decrease the risk of potential complications.

Robotic surgery was first introduced more than 20 years ago. MUSC Health Florence Medical Center is proud to be bringing robotic surgery as another tool to help patients. Since then, and with several iterations later, more and more procedures are now being performed safely using robotic surgery. As with anything in medicine, patient selection is key. Not every patient is an appropriate candidate for this approach and they may be better served with traditional surgical techniques. With patients who are appropriate candidates, Robotic surgery has broadened the possibilities in terms of what we are able to offer our patients, all while getting them back to their lives safely, quickly and with less pain.

For more information contact General Surgeon Dr.Hatem Abdallah at MUSC Health- Floyd Medical Group in Florence at 843-669-1220.