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Robotic Surgery at VCU Urology
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Robotic Surgery at VCU Urology

daVinci robotHistory of Robotic Surgery

The first documented use of a robot to assist with a surgical procedure occurred in 1985 when the PUMA 560 surgical arm was used in a neurosurgical biopsy.  The robotic system offered greater precision and a successful outcome and led to the first robot-assisted laparoscopic procedure in 1987.

Experts continued to improve on these surgery-enhancing robotic machines over the next couple of decades, and in 2000, the da Vinci robot became the first complete robotic surgical system approved by the FDA for general laparoscopic surgery.  da Vinci represented the first time the FDA approved a system that included surgical instruments and visual aids all in one. 

About the da Vinci® Robotic System

  • This robotic system offers the surgeon a three-dimensional high-resolution view that can be magnified to give the doctor an extremely clear, real-time view of the surgery site.

  • The one-centimeter diameter surgical arms of this robotic system are greatly miniaturized from earlier devices of this type, allowing for less contact between the machine’s arms and the patient, which in turn reduces the amount of tissue trauma as well as the risk of infection.

  • The “wrists” of the robot not only replicate the movements of the skilled surgeon who is controlling it, but they can rotate a full 360 degrees, enabling more precise movement in very small operating spaces and at difficult angles.

Learn more about the da Vinci® Robotic System by visiting their website:

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updated: April 18, 2017