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Robotic Surgery

Robotic Bariatric Surgery

Dr. Houston has performed over 800 robotic-assisted bariatric surgeries using the da Vinci® Xi™ Robotic Surgical System. This advanced machine gives him more flexibility and precision than ever before. With the flexibility of the robot's wristed intruments and the unparalled 3D view of the abdomen, the da Vinci robot takes laparoscopy to the next level, especially in complex cases.

Advantages compared to Laparoscopy

Both robotic surgery and laparoscopic surgery are minimally invasive procedures. In both procedures, small incisions are used, which results in less scarring, less post-operative pain, reduced blood loss, faster recovery and quicker return to work compared to standard open surgery.


However, the two major drawbacks of conventional laparoscopy (without the use of robotic instrumentation) are that it relies on the use of rigid, hand-held instruments, and visualization is provided by a standard 2D video monitor.  The robotic high definition 3D magnified field is far superior to traditional laparoscopy.  In addition, the robotic instruments (controlled by the surgeon) are "wristed" arms that have an even greater range of motion than a human's.  These wrists allow movements that simply aren't possible with standard laparoscopic tools.

Benefits of minimally invasive robotic surgery over laparoscopic surgery include:

  • Less pain and faster recovery

  • Better stapling platform leads to less bleeding and less risk for post-operative leaks/infection

  • Ability to perform complex revisional procedures and larger BMI patients more precisely and safely

  • Greater visualization, precision and control lead to shorter operative times and less complications

How It Works

Dr. Houston makes three small incisions in a line just above the belly button and robotic access ports are placed under direct vision.  The robotic arms are then attached to the access ports.  Wristed instruments are then placed through 2 of the ports, and the 3D high-definition camera is placed in the other.  They all are attached to the arms as well for surgeon control at the console. Two additional incisions are placed, 1 for an assistant to have laparoscopic access and the other for a liver retractor. 


Dr. Houston then leaves the operative table and controls the da Vinci system's robotic arms and instruments using a computer console that's located close to the patient. Dr. Houston has complete control over the system, and every hand input is translated into movement of the robotic arms and instruments. In addition, the robot scales the surgeon’s hand movements for greater precision and control.

Am I a Candidate?

Yes! Dr. Houston performs all his bariatric procedures robotically and was the first in this area to have a fully robotic bariatrc practice.  

Meet Dr. Houston's Dedicated Robotic Team:

To learn more about Robotic Surgery or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Houston, please call us at (615) 342-5820 or complete our contact form.

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