Normally, a full general anaesthetic will be used and you will be asleep throughout the procedure. They may put a drip into your arm or neck to allow them access to your circulation during the operation. You will be anaesthetised and taken into the operating theatre. During robotic prostate surgery you will be given antibiotics by injection; If you have any allergies, be sure to let the anaesthetist know.
The da Vinci® prostatectomy is an operation to remove the prostate gland using laparoscopic (key-hole) techniques. A robotic console is placed beside you in the operating theatre. Attached to the console are four robotic arms; three for instruments and one for a high-magnification 3-D camera to allow the surgeon to see inside your abdomen. The robotic arms have the ability to hold various instruments attached to them and allow the surgeon to carry out your operation. The instruments are approximately 7mm in width. The instruments have a greater range of movement than the human hand and, because of their size, they allow the surgeon to carry out the operation using 3-D imaging in a small space within the body.
With robotic surgery, the instruments are placed on to the robotic arms through small port holes into your abdomen. The operating surgeon sits in the same room but away from the patient and is able to carry out more controlled & precise movements using robotic assistance. The robot does not, of course, do the operation. The instruments are controlled by the surgeon (who does the operation) and the robot cannot work on its own.