Frequently Asked Questions

Most patients and their loved ones have questions prior to scheduling a surgical procedure. We have compiled some of the most frequently asked questions below to provide you with the information and reassurance you need before scheduling a robotic procedure.

What is robotic surgery?

Robotic surgery is a more technologically advanced approach to surgery than traditional open surgery or laparoscopic surgery. During robotic surgery, one of our highly trained surgeons uses the daVinci® Surgical System. The surgeon sits at a master console in the surgical room and manipulates robotic arms that hold the surgical instruments, which are inserted into the patient's body through very small openings, called ports. The surgeon's hand motions are precisely translated into real-time movements. The robotic system provides surgeons with greater surgical precision, increased range of motion, superior dexterity and enhanced 3D vision of the surgery area.

Why choose the St. Rita's Surgery Center for robotic surgery?

The physicians, nurses and clinical staff at the St. Rita's Robotic Surgery Center have more experience using the daVinci® Surgical System than any other area healthcare provider. Our surgeons have the highest volume of robotic surgery cases in the region and are able to rely on their decades of experience in traditional open surgery, laparoscopic surgery, and robotic surgery to provide an uncommonly high level of surgical expertise.

What robotic procedures do you offer?

The highly trained clinical staff at the St. Rita's Robotic Surgery Center is able to provide surgical treatments for numerous gynecology, urology, general, bariatric, and cardiothoracic conditions. Your doctor can advise if your recommended surgery can be performed robotically.

What is the best way to schedule an appointment with a robotic surgeon or physician, or what if I want to learn more?

To request an appointment or learn more about the St. Rita's Robotic Surgery Center, you can reach us by phone at 419-226-9000.

What are the benefits of robotic surgery compared with traditional methods of surgery?

The daVinci® Surgical System offers our surgeons and patients numerous benefits over a traditional open or laparoscopic procedure, including:

  • smaller incisions
  • more precise surgical control
  • less scarring
  • less post-operative pain and reduced need for narcotic pain medication during recovery
  • less blood loss and reduced need for blood transfusion during surgery
  • lower rate of wound infection
  • fewer complications
  • shorter operative time
  • shorter hospital stay and faster return to normal daily activities
  • Is robotic surgery covered by insurance?

As with all medical procedures, your insurance plan coverage determines your surgical benefits. Please contact your insurance company to confirm your coverage and for further coverage-related questions. St. Rita's facilities participate in most major health insurance plans in the area including all traditional insurance plans, Medicare and Medicaid.

Does robotic surgery make the surgeon unnecessary?

The daVinci® Surgical System relies entirely on the expertise of the surgeon who is physically present in the room and directing every step of the surgery. The surgeon must operate the system, guiding the arms with attached instruments to perform the procedure. The robotic system is a tool that provides the surgeon with exceptional surgical precision and enables the clinical team to ensure the best, most optimal procedure possible. It cannot function without a surgeon.

Will I feel any pain with a robotic procedure?

Every patient reacts differently to a surgical procedure. However numerous clinical studies have shown that patients who choose robotic surgery tend to have less post-operative pain than patients who have traditional open surgery or a laparoscopic procedure. That's because the daVinci® Surgical System enables surgeons to make miniscule incisions compared to other surgical methods; smaller incisions reduce the physical trauma of surgery. The system also reduces the overall operation time which means you get on to the road to recovery and back to your daily routines more quickly.

How do I know if I am a candidate for a robotic procedure?

Eligibility for robotic surgery depends on several factors. Your doctor will do a comprehensive pre-surgical screening to ensure that robotic surgery is the best option for you.

How can I get a referral for robotic surgery at Mercy?

You can contact us directly at 419-226-9000 or schedule an appointment with one of our physicians for a consultation about robotic surgery. You do not need a referral from your current physician for robotic surgery at Mercy.

How long will my surgery last?

The length of your surgery will depend on several factors. However studies have shown that the daVinci® Surgical System typically reduces the length of time required for an operation, which can also result in a shorter overall recovery time.

How long will it take for me to recover from surgery?

Recovery times vary by patient; however, robotic surgery has proven to reduce recovery times, shorten hospital stays, and help patients return to their normal daily activities more quickly than with traditional open surgery or laparoscopic surgery.

What happens if there is a complication with the robotic equipment during surgery?

If a complication with the robotic equipment were to occur or if the procedure is too difficult to perform robotically, our surgeons are very experience in conventional laparoscopy and open surgical techniques.

Are there any unique risks to having robotic surgery?

As with any type of major surgery, robotic surgery carries a degree of risk, which your doctor will discuss with you prior to scheduling the procedure. However robotic surgery does not present any additional or more significant risks than traditional surgical approaches. In fact, the high degree of precision that the daVinci® Surgical System provides your surgeon may minimize potential risks as compared to other types of surgery. Talk with your doctor about any concerns you have before scheduling your surgical procedure.

Will I have to have any specific or different type of follow-up if I choose robotic surgery?

Having a robotic procedure as opposed to an open or laparoscopic procedure does not alter your post-surgical follow-up plan. Your doctor will prescribe a plan based on the type of procedure you had, how you responded during surgery, and your age and health condition. If anything, because robotic surgery entails smaller incisions and shorter operating time, your follow-up and recovery time is likely to be shorter than with other surgical approaches.