Esophageal Cancer da Vinci® Surgical System
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Robotic Surgery for Esophageal Cancer
The da Vinci® Surgical System is used to remove difficult-to-reach esophageal tumors using a minimally invasive approach. Using interactive robotic arms, surgeons are able to guide surgery in real time from outside of the body. This innovative surgical option allows for increased precision, vision, dexterity and control.
The System consists of two robotic arms and a viewer that shows a highly magnified, high-resolution 3D image of the anatomy being operated on. During surgery, small incisions are made to introduce small surgical instruments and a high-definition camera inside the patient.
The surgeon uses the controls on the viewer to guide the instruments and camera during the procedure, essentially “telling” the System what to do in real time. The robotic arms can only act out exactly what the surgeon’s own arms, hands and fingers do.
Throughout the procedure, the patient’s anatomy appears at high magnification and with natural depth of field, allowing for greater precision. The enhanced visualization of the esophagus makes for a clear, in depth picture of the tumor.
The system’s EndoWrist® instruments have a joint-wrist design that exceeds the natural range of motion of the human hand, increasing surgical control and dexterity. Also, the system’s Intuitive® motion scaling and tremor reduction reduce the occurrence of involuntary hand movements made by the surgeon.
Potential Benefits for Esophageal Cancer Patients
As a minimally invasive option for complex surgery, there are many potential benefits to using the da Vinci system. Since small incisions are made instead of one large incision, recovery time is often quicker, allowing for normal life to resume faster. Additional potential benefits for esophageal cancer patients include:
- Reduced pain
- Lower risk of infection or complications
- Less blood loss (fewer transfusions)
- Shorter hospital stays
- Less scarring