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ST. LOUIS – Robotic-assisted surgeries are becoming much more prevalent in conversations with patients about treating some of the more common surgeries such as gallbladder removal, hernia repair, gastric bypass, and gallstones.

But robotic surgery is also regularly used in heart operations such as mitral valve surgery and some bypass operations as well as neurosurgery for conditions like epilepsy and tremors, urologic surgeries, for head and neck cancers, and so much more. They are changing the face of medicine for many patients who previously would have undergone traditional open surgery operations.

During robotic-assisted surgery, the surgeon directs the surgery from nearby but typically does not stand over the patient like has been done traditionally. However, the surgeon is in the operating room, directing the procedure the entire time.

The robotic system allows your surgeon to make precise, delicate motions while controlling the machine. The surgeon makes tiny incisions in the body and inserts instruments to perform the operation but the surgeon is on control the entire time.

Robotic surgeries are considered minimally invasive because they use smaller incisions, therefore provide shorter hospitalization time and faster recovery for patients. It also means less scarring and a reduced risk of infection so the patients can return to their normal life more quickly.

Dr. Tauqir Ahmed is a general surgeon at SSM Health DePaul Hospital who says robotic surgery means less movement of muscles and less trauma to the tissue so the patient can take less pain medication, and many times, have minimal scarring so patients can recover and get back to work faster.

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