da Vinci Surgery

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At UVA Health Children's, we provide minimally invasive surgical services for infants, children, and adolescents using the daVinci® robot-assisted surgical system. This system is well-suited for complex intra-abdominal procedures and reconstructive urological surgery.

Our pediatric urologists are recognized leaders in the field of urology and robotic-assisted minimally invasive urologic surgery.

What Conditions Does it Treat?

The da Vinci system can be used in infants as young as 3-4 months of age. Some of the conditions currently treated with robotic-assisted surgery include:

  • Urinary tract obstruction
  • Vesicoureteral reflux
  • Urinary and bowel incontinence from neurological conditions
  • Complex kidney stones

Benefits of da Vinci Surgery

The da Vinci robotic system helps surgeons perform complex procedures, usually through three small incisions. Children benefit from this type of surgery over the traditional surgical approaches for a number of reasons, including:

  • Less pain
  • Less scarring
  • Shorter hospital stays and quicker recovery time (children are often back to their normal activity levels within a week)

The robotic-assisted surgical approach allows the surgeon to operate with three interactive robotic arms while sitting nearby at a console. The robotic system can operate in a very small area with more precision and greater range of motion than a surgeon's wrist or traditional laparoscopic instruments.

One of the robot's arms holds a camera that is lowered into the operating space through a small incision. This allows the surgeon to view the operative field in high-definition 3D images that are magnified 10 times.