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Robotic Thoracic Surgery

Robotic thoracic surgery is a minimally invasive technique that involves the use of small incisions and the Da Vinci robotic surgical instrument guided by a surgeon’s hand to perform complex procedures with high precision. The technology provides surgeons with improved visualisation and reduces harm to the surrounding tissue. The procedure may be performed on an outpatient basis, reducing overall recovery time.

About Robotic-Assisted Thoracic Surgery

Robotic-assisted thoracic surgery (RATS) is a minimally-invasive technique that employs the Da Vinci system for robotic surgery to assist the surgeon in the surgical treatment of conditions affecting the chest, such as lung cancer, mediastinal cancer or other chest-related conditions.  In the case of early-stage 1 or 2 lung cancer, robot-assisted thoracic surgery may be the primary treatment option. 

The treatment method is precise and provides more flexibility compared to traditional surgical techniques, potentially leading to improved patient outcomes.

However, the suitability of this procedure for a particular patient depends on various factors, including the nature of the patient’s tumour and the patient’s overall health. It is crucial that patients considering robot-assisted thoracic surgery consult with a surgeon proficient in minimally invasive thoracic surgical systems to discuss the potential risks and benefits of the procedure.

As an advocate of minimally invasive surgery solutions, Dr Harish Mithiran of Neumark applies robot-assisted thoracic surgery in his practice.

robotic thoracic surgery Singapore

Most Common Lung Conditions Treated with RATS

Robotic-assisted surgery is an effective modality to treat thoracic conditions, including:

  • Lung cancer to remove tumours from the lung, either in an attempt to cure the cancer or to alleviate symptoms.
  • Mediastinal tumours to remove the tumors of the mediastinum, which lies in front or behind the heart.
  • Thymectomy surgery to remove the thymus in patients who are diagnosed with myasthenia gravis.

It’s important to note that robotic thoracic surgery is just one of many techniques, such as uniportal video-assisted thoracic surgery that may be used to treat these conditions. The best treatment modality for a particular patient will depend on your specific situation, including the size and location of the tumour or other comorbidities, your overall health, and other factors.

da Vinci robotic thoracic surgery

Benefits of Robotic Lung Surgery

Robotic-assisted thoracic surgery involves the use of small incisions, typically only a few centimetres in size, as opposed to large incisions required for traditional surgery. 

The Da Vinci robotic surgery system, guided and controlled by the surgeon, enables highly precise movements for complex surgical procedures, particularly beneficial in the delicate incisions required in thoracic surgery. Additionally, the robot provides the surgeon with a high-resolution 3D view of the operating area, improving visualisation and navigation at the surgical site. This minimises disruption to surrounding tissue and reduces patient discomfort. 

Simply put, our surgeons perform robotic-assisted surgery to extend the capabilities of their eyes and hands to improve their range of motion through technological advances, which leads to improved patient outcomes.

Robotic lung surgery is often performed on an outpatient basis, allowing the patient to return home the same day and potentially hastening recovery. In some cases, an overnight hospital stay may be required for more extensive procedures.

Robotic Thoracic Surgery FAQs

Robotic-assisted thoracic surgery can offer several potential benefits compared to traditional surgical techniques, such as a smaller incision, improved precision, and enhanced visualisation of the surgical site. These advantages may result in less blood loss, fewer complications, and a faster recovery for the patient.

As with any surgical procedure, there are some potential risks and complications associated with the Da Vinci surgical system for thoracic operations. Your surgeon will discuss the risks with you prior to the operation. However, the risks of complications are generally lower with robotic-assisted surgery compared to traditional surgery due to the smaller incisions, and the greater precision of the procedure.

The risks and benefits of robotic-assisted thoracic surgery will depend on the specific situation and the patient’s needs. It is important for patients to discuss the potential risks and benefits of this type of surgery with a thoracic surgeon well-trained and experienced with the minimally-invasive procedure like Dr Mithiran at Neumark before making a decision.

The cost of Da Vinci robotic surgery in Singapore can vary depending on a number of factors, such as the specific type of surgery being performed, the location of the procedure, and the overall health of the patient. It is important to note that the Da Vinci robotic surgery cost may be covered by insurance in some cases.

Patients should check with their insurance provider to determine their coverage for this type of surgery (see insurance panel list).

Robotic thoracic surgery recovery time will vary depending on the specific type of surgery that is performed and the individual patient’s overall health. In general, patients who undergo robotic-assisted thoracic surgery may have a shorter hospital stay and faster recovery time compared to traditional open surgery. They may also experience less pain and discomfort during the recovery process.

In general, patients who undergo robotic lung surgery may experience less pain and discomfort compared to traditional surgery due to the smaller incisions and less disruption to the surrounding tissue. 

Some pain and discomfort is to be expected after any type of surgery, and patients should discuss pain management with their surgeon and follow their instructions for pain relief. It is important for patients to communicate with their surgeon and healthcare team about their pain levels and any concerns they may have.

Robotic-assisted thoracic surgery uses a surgical robot controlled by a surgeon, equipped with instruments and a camera inserted through small incisions, while uniportal VATS involves a single incision and long, thin instruments with a camera. Both techniques offer minimally-invasive surgery benefits such as smaller incisions and faster recovery compared to open surgery. The specific technique used depends on the patient’s needs and the condition being treated.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on this website is for general informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The use of this website does not create a doctor-patient relationship and no medical advice should be inferred or assumed. It is the user’s sole responsibility to seek the advice of their healthcare professionals for any medical concerns they may have and the user should not disregard, or delay, prompt medical advice for any such condition.

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