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Robotic-Assisted Surgery

Davinci Robotic Arm

Your surgeon may recommend the minimally invasive da Vinci® Robotic Surgical System for select cases and procedures. Compared to traditional surgery, studies show that robotic-assisted surgery patients experience:

  • less blood loss.
  • less pain and discomfort after surgery (resulting in a need for less pain medication).
  • faster recovery time.

How the Robotic System Works

The computer-enhanced system at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital includes:

  • a standalone console
  • a mechanical robot with arms that hold the surgical instruments and a miniature video camera

The surgical instruments are small enough to fit through dime-sized incisions. This allows the surgeon to work in very tight areas, such as between ribs, and with minimal disruption to surrounding tissues and organs.

The surgeon sits at the console, looking into eyepieces that provide a three-dimensional, magnified view of the operation area. Maneuvering special hand devices in the console, the surgeon precisely controls every movement of the instruments in the robot’s arms.

Robotic System Surgeries

Cottage Health surgeons perform various procedures with the robotic system at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, including:

A Patient Story

Cynthia HarrisCynthia Harris suffered from chronic bladder infections for ten years. She kept putting off hysterectomy and bladder repair until she heard about robotic-assisted surgery.

In 2012, OB/GYN Dr. Ralph Quijano performed a robotic-assisted hysterectomy and sacrocolpopexy on Cynthia to correct her uterine prolapse.

“With the da Vinci system, the surgeon has greater control than with laparoscopic surgery,” said Dr. Quijano. “The robotic system also provides a three-dimensional view, so you get depth perception. And the robotic instrument bends more like a human wrist.”

This typically results in less pain, faster recovery, fewer complications, and shorter hospital stays. “With da Vinci, recovery after surgery is about 50 percent faster,” said Dr. Quijano.

Cynthis was released from the hospital the day after surgery. “It was a snap,” she said. “It was so easy. I even went on a ten-day trip just two weeks after the surgery. I had no bleeding and no pain. I didn’t have to take anything like pain medication.

Related Locations

What Cottage Patients Say

“It was a snap. It was so easy. I had no bleeding and no pain.” - Cynthia Harris, age 75, robotic-assisted hysterectomy and sacrocolpopexy (uterine-prolapse repair)

What Surgeons Say

“The robotic system allows much smaller incisions while maintaining the same high quality of surgical care and enabling patients to feel more comfortable during recovery.” - Dr. Alex Koper

“Robotic-assisted surgery patients are back to full activity about one month sooner than they are with open surgery.” - Dr. David Laub