The Nuts and Bolts of Robotics

September 14, 2018

Robotics. It may sound Star Wars-related or like a futuristic concept to some, but in reality robotic surgery has been around for many years. The very first robotic surgical procedure, a gall bladder removal, took place in 1987. The benefits of DaVinci robotics are so encouraging that the technique is widely used in many different procedures today.

Robotics doesn’t mean a robot is performing your surgery—the surgeon is just 10 feet away using a robotics system called the da Vinci System, developed in 2000. It is a minimally invasive surgical technique that features a magnified 3D, HD vision system and special instruments that bend and rotate more than the human hand is able. This robotic surgical technique provides better vision, dexterity, precision and control compared to open or laparoscopic surgical techniques.

Now that we have established that a robot is not performing your surgery, let’s approach the major benefits of robotics. Why does it matter that your surgeon can use this cool technology for a prostatectomy? Robotics typically have better post surgery outcomes when compared to open and laparoscopic surgical techniques in a prostatectomy.

Meaning, you get better faster. This is largely because there are fewer and smaller incisions needed in robotics. Only five incisions are made and each one measures no bigger than the size of a dime. Less incisions and tissue disruption minimizes blood loss, pain and scarring. It also limits complications, lowers risks of infection or deep vein thrombosis and translates to shorter hospital stays with a decreased chance of readmission.

Due to the precision robotics allows, another advantage is the ability of the surgeon to better salvage any tissue or nerves. This can equate to fewer days with a catheter, faster return to sexual function and quicker restoration to full urinary control.

Most importantly, because of the improved visualization, dexterity and accuracy that robotics provides, the surgeon has fine-tuned capability during surgery which optimizes the possibility for a cancer free result.

Dr. Koushik Shaw at the Austin Urology Institute has done over 500 robotic procedures since 2004, and performed many of the first robotic cases of their kind in the Austin area.

We perform DaVinci Robotic pyeloplasty, prostatectomy and kidney cancer cases, with urinary continence, potency and cancer free rates that parallel that of major academic institutions. We are also proud to have an award-winning staff that is amongst the highest rated in Austin and the Central Texas area.

To learn more about what we can offer with the latest in DaVinci Robotic, Minimally Invasive Laparoscopic Surgery, contact us at or 512-694-8888.