Robotic bariatric surgery is an surgical procedure executed to reduce the weight of morbidly obese people with or without co morbdities. This is an effective surgery with proven results and improvements in patients who have body mass index (BMI) above 35kg/m2 or BMI above 32.5 kg/m2 with co morbidities.
Patients who suffer from obesity-related diseases see significant improvement in their associated illnesses like diabetes, blood pressure, dyslipidemia, heart diseases etc with robotic bariatric surgery. This surgical procedure uses robotics that uses small incisions and gives high accuracy and precision.
Metabolic surgery,Weight-loss surgery
How is Robotic Bariatric Surgery Performed?
Robotic Bariatric Surgery is performed using an advanced next generation robotic system where the surgeon operates from a console. Acting as a surgical assistance tool, robotics enables surgeons to perform surgeries using computer-guided, 3-D, magnified visualisation. These features make robotic bariatric surgery precise, accurate and safe for patients.
The surgeon’s arm and wrist movements are replicated by the robotic arms and wrists. The robotic arms allow wide degree of movement that make ultra-precise movements and operates through minute holes. The magnified visualisation offered by the robotic system enables greater depth perception for the surgeon to gain more control over surgical movements among severely obese patients.
This obesity surgery using robotics keeps all benefits of laparoscopy technique with added benefits of precision and safety.
Pre-operative tests: A few basic tests needed before robotic bariatric surgery include checks on blood parameters, certain non invasive tests as advised by the surgeon. Surgeons can also recommend a gallbladder ultrasound to check for gallstones.
Other tests and evaluations: Surgeons can request other studies or evaluations, including chest X-ray, GI evaluation, pulmonary function testing, sleep studies, echocardiogram, electrocardiogram, psychiatric evaluation, or cardiology evaluation.
Diet before the procedure: Before robotic bariatric surgery, the patients can be asked to remain on a liquid diet to keep the stomach from expanding too much. Also, if you have a smoking habit, you must stop it for about six weeks before the surgery. The alcoholic beverages must be stopped, too, before the surgery.
Post-surgery, a patient will be asked to attend several follow-up meetings. While the first visit will be scheduled in the first 15 days after the surgery, the second visit will be after a month or two. Gradually, the visits will be scheduled half-yearly and later yearly. Follow-up sessions help in determining healthy eating and lifestyle behaviours. Furthermore, tests and scans will be scheduled to analyse if there are vitamin deficiencies due to the restrictive facets of the surgery. Other tests, like bone density scans and the status of obesity-related diseases, can be monitored.
As with any other surgery, there are some risks associated with robotic bariatric surgery. These include:
Food moving rapidly from the stomach into the small intestine causing Dumping syndrome
Staple line leak though very rare in Center of Excellences
Nutrition deficiencies if patients do not comply with supplements
After robotic bariatric surgery, patients resume walking around on the same day and can go back to their normal activities within a couple of days. It takes few weeks for complete recovery and adjustment to dietary habits. It is imperative to consume medicines and food as per the doctor’s instructions. Strenuous Exercising is typically avoided in the recovery phase.
Common Myths about Robotic Bariatric Surgery
Myth 1: A robot carries out the entire surgery, and a surgeon only assists it.
Some people imagine a robot performing robotic bariatric surgery without a surgeon’s involvement. That’s a myth! A robot is a tool that assists the surgeon in performing the surgery with ease and precision. In robotic-assisted bariatric surgery, the surgeon has complete control of the procedure and operates through a console that controls the robotic controls while a computed system monitors all movements.
Myth 2: If the robot malfunctions, it can risk the patient’s life.
Advanced technology and next generation robotic systems backed by artificial intelligence and machine learning have made the surgical procedures much safer. There are multiple in built safety mechanisms that rather negate surgical errors.
Several in-built safety features don’t lead to any error or malfunction while the robot is assisting in the surgery. Additionally, if any error arises during surgery, the robot can be easily undocked and replaced.
Myth 3: Robotic bariatric surgery has no additional advantages; it is similar to traditional surgery.
Robotic bariatric surgery comes with several significant advantages. Here are a few of the benefits of robotic-assisted surgery over traditional surgical procedures:
High precision and accuracy
Greater depth perception and safety
Shorter hospital stay and quick recovery
Minimal pain and blood loss
Myth 4: Any surgeon can execute a robotic-assisted surgery
Performing robotic-assisted bariatric surgery demands specialized skills to operate the required tools and controls. For the successful execution of surgeries, the specialists need to go through extensive training in robot technology. Therefore, any surgeon or a team of doctors cannot perform robotic surgery.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is robotic bariatric surgery safe?
Yes, there is substantial evidence from various research that suggests robotic bariatric surgery is a safe option. Many patients have got excellent results and have successfully transformed their lives through this surgery.
Are there any limitations of robotic bariatric surgery?
Does robotic bariatric surgery have any side effects?
A few common side effects post bariatric surgery which are common to robotic technique or laparoscopic technique include nausea, vomiting, and minimal pain. Doctors generally prescribe adequate analgesics to control the pain. Robotic bariatric surgery have no additionally side effects to the patient compared to what are experienced after routine laparoscopic bariatric surgery.
How long will it take to consume solid foods after surgery?
Typically, a period of four to five weeks is recommended to avoid solid foods after robotic bariatric surgery. You can start with a liquid diet and gradually switch to semi-solid or pureed foods before consuming solid foods.
Can I plan my pregnancy after robotic bariatric surgery?
Yes, you can plan your pregnancy. However, you should ideally wait at least one year after the surgery to get pregnant.
What are the tips for the long-term success of robotic bariatric surgery?
Maintaining a healthier lifestyle is imperative after robotic bariatric surgery. If you commit to the following key tips, the effects of the surgeries will last long:
Avoid unhealthy snacking
Stick to eating three balanced and healthy meals every day