Dr. Craig Floch

As Fairfield County Bariatrics & Surgical Specialists, P.C., continues to maintain its position in providing the advanced surgical techniques to patients, it announced that Dr. Craig Floch is performing the newest state-of-the-art development in general surgery, gallbladder surgery and bariatric surgery (gastric bypass and gastric sleeve) with the “da Vinci robot.”

The da Vinci robot uses technology that allows him to get closer to the surgical site than human vision will allow. The robot also permits him to work at a smaller scale than conventional surgery allows. The da Vinci robot system consists of two components:

• A viewing and control console.

• A surgical arm unit that, depending on the model, has three or four arms.

Why robotic surgery?

Robotic surgery was developed to overcome the limitations of minimally invasive surgery and to enhance the capabilities of surgeons performing open surgery. Robotic surgery is similar to laparoscopic surgery since it is performed through incisions significantly smaller than those required by traditional surgery. The small precise movements that are possible with the robot allow it to have some advantages over other techniques.

The entire surgical procedure is performed by the surgeon as he controls the robot. The robot translates the surgeon’s hand movements into smaller, more precise movements of tiny instruments in the surgical site. The robot reduces the surgeon’s movements, moving 1/2 inch for every inch that he moves, making movements more precise. Traditional laparoscopic instruments are straight and have limited range of motion. The EndoWrist instruments of the da Vinci robot move like the human wrist and increase dexterity, maneuverability and precision.

They also can access hard to reach areas of the body more easily through the smaller surgical cuts as compared to traditional and laparoscopic surgery. The surgeon will make three or four small incisions in the patient’s abdomen (depending on the number of arms the unit has). These incisions are no larger than the diameter of a pencil. Stainless steel rods are then inserted into the abdomen through these incisions and the robot’s arms hold them in place. One of the rods is equipped with two endoscopic cameras that provide a stereoscopic image. The other rods are equipped with surgical instruments that are capable of dissecting and suturing tissue.

The surgical instruments are not directly touched by the surgeon as they are in conventional surgery. An ergonomically designed console is set up a few feet from the operating table. The surgeon sits at a console viewing 3-D, high definition images while using the controls below the display to manipulate the robotic arms equipped with surgical instruments. The robotic system interprets and converts the surgeon’s hand, wrist and finger movements into precise, real-time movements of the surgical instruments inside the patient. The 3-D images are sent to the viewfinder in the console by the cameras located inside the patient that are attached to the steel rods.

The images display the surgical site and the instruments mounted on the tips of the surgical rods. Joystick-like controls located underneath the screen in the unit are used by the surgeon to manipulate the surgical instruments. The robot translates the surgeon’s natural hand motions at the control console into corresponding movements of the robotic instruments.

As the surgeon moves one of the joysticks, a computer sends an electronic signal to one of the instruments, which moves in sync with the surgeon’s hands. This procedure negates the need for large incisions for surgical procedures. When the surgery is completed, the surgeon will remove the rods from the patient’s abdomen and close the incisions.

The robot provides surgeons the benefit of having greater control and precision in performing the surgical procedures with enhanced vision and greater dexterity. This state-of-the-art robot allows our surgeons to see in three dimensions with a magnified view, and to move their surgical instruments in ways that are not humanly possible. With the robot doctors can offer a minimally invasive surgical option for complex surgical procedures.

Fairfield County Bariatrics & Surgical Specialists P.C. has offices in Norwalk, Fairfield, Stamford, Waterbury and New London. For more information, visit endtheweight.com or call 877-659-0011.