Description of the Procedure
Small "Keyhole" Incisions
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The doctor will cut several small keyhole openings in the skin near where the surgery will take place. In most cases, a needle will be used to inject carbon dioxide gas into the surgical area. This gas will make it easier for the doctor to see internal structures. Next, the doctor will pass a small camera, called an endoscope, through one of the incisions. The camera will light, magnify, and project an image of the organs onto a video screen. Then robotic arms holding instruments for grasping, cutting, dissecting, and suturing will be inserted through the holes.
While sitting at a console near the operating table, the doctor will look through lenses at a magnified 3D image of the inside of the body. Another doctor will stay by the table to adjust the camera and tools. With joystick-like controls and foot pedals, the doctor will guide the robotic arms and tools. Lastly, the tools will be removed, and stitches or staples will be used to close the area.
While you are recovering at the hospital, you will:
- Be encouraged to walk (with help) soon after surgery
- Receive guidelines on what you should eat and what activities you can do—Depending on your procedure, you should be able to go back to your normal activities in a few weeks.
After you return home, be sure to follow your doctor's instructions. Ask your doctor about when it is safe to shower, bathe, or soak in water.