Cracking the da Vinci Code — What to Know about Robotic Surgery

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At Olde Del Mar Surgical, we specialize in many minimally invasive general surgery procedures. Dr. Bhoyrul and Dr. Farinholt pride themselves on providing the best care available in southern California, and work with you to decide what surgical technique is best for your operation.

In addition to her noted recognition in laparoscopic bariatric surgery, Dr. Gina Farinholt specializes in using the da Vinci® Surgical System — the state-of-the-art robotic surgical platform — to perform Sleeve Gastrectomy and Cholecystectomy (or Lap Chole, a gallbladder removal) with industry-leading results.

About Robotic Surgery


The da Vinci System received FDA approval for clinical use in 2000. It has been the focus of 15 years-worth of research and analysis, and has successfully contributed to more than 1.5 million minimally invasive, complex surgeries. It is manufactured by the California-based healthcare technology expert, Intuitive Surgical®.


Currently, the system is used in major surgical centers worldwide, and is approved for many general surgery procedures including bariatric surgery, Cholecystectomy and hernia repair.


While it is commonly referred to as “robotic surgery”, the da Vinci platform cannot move or operate on its own; your surgeon is in complete control and commands 100% of the decision-making responsibility during your procedure.


The platform incorporates a control console — where the surgeon is seated with a real-time, high-definition 3D view screen and hand controls; the operating machinery — which utilizes miniature, wristed instruments (tools with joints that perform precise, intricate activities and are capable of a near-360-degree range of motion); and force feedback sensory technology that provides the surgeon with the biofeedback necessary to monitor and modify their progress.

 The Benefits of Robotic Surgery


Patients benefit from this technology-based surgical platform with:

  • Smaller and fewer incisions than open surgery, resulting in more discrete scars
  • Decreased blood loss
  • Less risk of nerve damage
  • Quicker recovery with a shorter hospital stay
  • Potential coverage on insurance plans, including Medicare


There are also numerous benefits to the surgeons, such as:

  • Decreased fatigue and increased ability to maintain focus
  • Control over flexible instruments with beyond-human ranges of motion
  • Unparalleled views of surgery sites
  • Easy access to the patient’s anatomy through incisions less than one inch wide
  • Quick-release levers on instruments that decrease downtime during surgery


The manufacturing masterminds behind this revolutionary surgical option say, “The product is called ‘da Vinci in part because Leonardo da Vinci invented the first robot. He also used unparalleled anatomical accuracy and three-dimensional details … [our] System similarly provides physicians with such enhanced detail and precision that [it] can simulate an open surgical environment while allowing operation through tiny incisions.”


As with any invasive surgery, there are risks to consider when undergoing general surgery procedures using the da Vinci System. Tissue and organ damage, blood loss, infection or permanent internal scarring which causes long-term dysfunction and pain are a few concerns to discuss with your doctor when considering robotic surgery.


While you may be deemed an unfit candidate for this technique, Olde Del Mar Surgical offers other minimally-invasive options and conducts a thorough consult to determine what is best for you. Contact our office to set up a consultation.

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