Robotic surgery tech: Fewer complications, quicker recovery, decreased opioid prescriptions, Vail Health says

Vail (Colo.) Health's robotic surgery tool, Da Vinci, has resulted in a decrease in complications, quicker recovery and fewer opioid prescriptions following its December 2021 implementations, reported local news source Summit Daily May 31.

"We decreased narcotic prescribing 75% across the board on average," Turner Lisle, MD, a Vail Health general surgeon, said when comparing robotic surgeries to standard laparoscopic surgeries. 

Vail Health reports opioid prescription after inguinal and ventral hernia repairs dropped 83 percent and 82 percent, respectively, when compared to open surgeries.

The robotic arm enables operators to navigate the surgical site with more precision because of its wrist-like articulation, allowing for more advanced movements and less trauma. Use of the robot creates fewer incisions, leading to less pain, and allows patients to return to physical activities within days of the operation. The standard recovery times of six to eight weeks are reduced to 10 to 14 days.

Data from Vail shows that complications due to surgery decreased compared to national averages, and there have been no complications due to surgery or surgical site infections. 

Vail's robotic program has performed 370 procedures to date. General procedures or hernias comprised 319 of the cases, 32 were urologic and 19 were gynecologic.

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