Robotic Surgery Program

As experts in providing Georgians with some of the most advanced minimally invasive surgical procedures, our physicians are leaders in using advanced robot-assisted procedures to treat benign and malignant tumors of the lungs, esophagus, mediastinum and chest wall. Robotic surgery is one of the most effective and least invasive surgical treatment options available today.

As an alternative to traditional and laparoscopic surgery, robot-assisted surgery uses a state-of-the-art surgical system that enables your surgeon to operate through a few tiny incisions. The 3D-HD vision system, allows your surgeon to see key anatomy with great clarity and its unique wristed instruments provide enhanced precision, dexterity and control.

Northside Hospital was one of the first hospitals in Georgia to use robotic surgery for thoracic surgery. Utilizing the newest generation of robots for the best patient outcomes, our surgeons are an integral part of Northside’s comprehensive robotic lung and esophageal program.


Dr. Shady Eldaif explains Robotic Thoracic Surgery


How is the procedure performed?

During the surgery, your surgeon sits at a computer station nearby and directs the movements of a robot with small instruments attached to its arms. During the procedure, you are asleep under general anesthesia.

Your surgeon first inserts these instruments through small surgical cuts. Your surgeon controls ALL movements of the robot and under his direction, the robot matches his hand movements to perform the procedure using the tiny instruments. A thin tube with a camera attached to the end of it (endoscope) allows the surgeon to view highly magnified 3D images of your body on a monitor in real time.

Why is robotic surgery performed?

Robotic surgery is considered a minimally invasive type of procedure, similar to laparoscopic and video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS), which is performed through smaller surgical cuts than traditional open surgery. The small, precise movements that are possible with robotic surgery give it some advantages over standard endoscopic techniques.

Sometimes robot-assisted thoracoscopy can allow a surgeon to perform a less-invasive procedure that was once only possible with more invasive open surgery. Once placed in the chest or abdomen, a robotic arm is easier for your surgeon to use than the instruments in endoscopic surgery. Robotic instruments can also access hard-to-reach areas of your body more easily through smaller surgical cuts compared to traditional open and laparoscopic surgery.

For some patients, an open surgical approach or VATS may still be the appropriate choice. Our surgeons have a deep understanding of each approach available and will recommend the best fit for you.

What are the benefits of robotic surgery?

Since robotic surgery exclusively uses tiny incisions there are multiple benefits to the patient including:

  • Less pain and bleeding during surgery may lead to reduced post-surgery pain
  • Less blood loss during surgery may lead to less risk of infection
  • Fewer and smaller incisions may lead to fewer and smaller scars
  • Increased precision in disease resection may lead to reduced post-surgery complications
  • A shorter hospital stay may lead to a faster recovery

What thoracic surgeries can be performed robotically?

  • Lobectomy, to remove one or more lobes of a lung
  • Sublobar lung resections
  • Thymectomy for myasthenia gravis
  • Diaphragmatic plication for diaphragm disorders
  • Esophageal mass resections and duplication cysts
  • Giant paraesophageal hernia repair
  • Heller myotomy for achalasia
  • Anterior and posterior mediastinal mass resections

Dr. ElDaif

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