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It used to be a given that performing surgery was a hands-on undertaking. But that scenario is fast going the way of the rotary dial phone. Many surgeries these days involve use of cameras, video screens and robots. Surgeries performed using these technologies are called ‘minimally invasive’ due to the small incisions used. The key to minimally invasive surgery is a camera placed inside the patient through a small incision, connected to a video display. The surgeon then manipulates surgical instruments through other tiny incisions. There is virtually no type of surgery untouched by these technological advances.
One of the newest advances in minimally invasive surgery is the Da Vinci Surgical System, which differs from other minimally invasive techniques in several important ways. This system has all the advantages of twenty-first century technology wedded to the knowledge and instinct of a trained surgeon. The system employs a complex robot affixed to a frame above the patient. The robot is operated remotely by the surgeon. Like other minimally invasive surgeries, Da Vinci robotic surgeries employ small incisions and a camera with viewing screen. But the Da Vinci system is different in several very important ways.
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