Surgery using a robot?!

Last week I saw my first robotic surgery through my physician observation course. Our class went to Careggi Hospital which is a major teaching hospital associated with the University of Florence. I changed into my scrubs and prepared to watch a surgery using a DaVinci robot. I saw three surgeries: prostate cancer removal, removal of the lymph nodes, and a tumor removal found in the kidney. The doctor that we were observing was a urologist and has worked with the DaVinci robot for quite some time. It was very interesting for me to watch these surgeries because in the future I would like to become an oncologist. The DaVinci robot is controlled by the surgeon through a console. The benefit of using the robot for gynecological surgeries, prostatectomies, and for cardiac valve replacements is that the procedure is minimally invasive in comparison to traditional surgery. The robot has three arms that are used as tools to hold surgical tools. Also, there is a camera so that the surgeon can use to observe the inside of the patient from the console. The image the surgeon receives is a 3-D HD image which makes you feel like you are inside the patient’s body. When I had the opportunity to look through the console as the surgeon was operating it was unlike anything I have ever seen. It was amazing to see the human anatomy in 3-D and so up close. This experience was very interesting because the surgeon would tell us what he was doing at every step of the surgery. In the future, I want to be able to care for children that are suffering from cancer and this experience has inspired me to look into surgery.

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