The following is general information put together by a WAB student about 2 years ago. The current students (2012) are working in pairs to look at specfic applications of the De Vinci System.

Grade 11 students - please enter your names and link to your page - for example:

Prosthetic Surgery - student_WAB and student1_WAB

General Background

1.1 robotic surgery team
1.1 robotic surgery team

Robotic surgery is the uses of robots to perform a surgical procedure on patients. The surgeons use a console to control the instruments that are attached to the multiple robot arms. The console is located in the same room as the patient.

In today's operating rooms; normally there's a lot of people in the room, but with the robotic surgery you only need an anesthesiologist, one surgeon and one or two nurses. The surgeon sits at the console inside or outside the room in the order to control the robot movements (see image 1.1)


  • General surgery
  • Cardiothoracic surgery
  • Neurosurgery
  • Orthopedics
  • Cardiology
  • Gastrointestinal surgery


  • Precision
  • Reduce blood loss
  • Smaller incisions
  • Quicker healing time
  • Less pain


  • Cost ( the fist robotic surgery cost around $ 1 million dollars)
  • Time (the surgery can take twice of the time of a normal procedure, this depends on the experience of the surgeon with the equipment)
  • Size (in a crowded- operating room with a large robot and some other equipment can affect the surgeon ability to operate)
  • Compatibility (some equipment might not be compatible with the new systems, if this is the case is require the assistance of another doctor to continue the surgery

Types of Robotic Surgery

Supervisory -controlled systems

This consist that a doctor do some prep surgery work with he patient before the starts working, this is because the robot need specific orders in order to complete the operation; The surgeons must watch every time the movement of the robot in case of some emergency. An example of this method is the Da' Vinci Surgical System.

The surgeon must input data in the robot in order to complete the operation. There are 3 steps to input the data in the robot this are:

  1. Planning stage: Take pictures of the patient bodies and decide the proper way to operate, so the robot follow the orders and do not make a
    1.3 Da vinici Surgical System
    1.3 Da vinici Surgical System

  2. Registration: The doctor need to find the point of the preview images and exactly match it with the patient's body in order the robot can complete the surgery without an error
  3. Navigation: This is the surgery. The surgeon must locate the patient and the robot in the correct position so the robot can move according to the information that is in its system

The advantages of this method are:
  • Precision
  • Reduce the trauma of the patient
  • Healer time is less

Telesurgical Systems

Telesurgical system is a surgery performed by a doctor with a considerably distant form the patient, using medical robotics and multimedia image communication; For example the patient can be in Florida and the doctor in New York.
One big problem with this procedure have is the latency (the movements that the doctor do with he machine and the movements of the robot are not synchronize)

Shared Control Robotic Surgery Systems

Aid surgeons during a surgical procedure, however the surgeons make most of the job different form the other systems.
In other words the surgeon use the surgical tools by hand. The system device will follow the surgeons movements; this tools help to stabilize and support the surgeon's movements, in order to identifies the surgical fields.

1.2 pedals and joysticks
1.2 pedals and joysticks

Da' Vinci Surgical System

The name of the robot is inspired in Leonardo Da' Vinci who created the first "robot". The Da' Vinci (see image 1.3) has been design to improve the conventional laparoscopy (operations of the abdomen or pelvis); is categorized in the tel-surgical devices this mean that humans directs the motions of the robot. The robot arms have many uses, it allows the surgeon make 3-4 incisions in the abdomen of the patient no much larger than the diameter of a pencil.

On July 11 of 2000 the Da' Vinci project was accepted by the U.S FDA (Food and Drug Administration) for general laparoscopy surgical procedures. The device cost approximately $1.5 million and have two primary components: a control console and 3-4 arms depending of the model. This is the famous robot in the medicine world.

How does it work?

The robot can only act under the direction of a human surgeon. The procedure consist of a surgeon sitting in front of a console
which controls the robot, this console normally is located in the same room as the patient. Three of the arms of the robot are designed for hold objects (see image 1.4) s
1.4 arms tools (scapel and scissors)
1.4 arms tools (scapel and scissors)

uch as scissors, a scalpel or a bovie ( to prevent the lose of blood); the fourth arm have a camera for endoscopic procedures, the camera have 2 lenses that allows the surgeon a 3-D vision. The console have two eye holes were the surgeon can see the 3-D images of the patients body. Simultaneously the surgeon controls th
e arms with two pedals and two joysticks (see image 1.2); a computer send the electronic signals to one of the instruments witch move in synchronize with the surgeon movements.

Some advantages are: Precision, Reduce blood loss, Smaller incisions.

The actual model of this robot can only act under the direction of a human surgeon.