Prior to Procedure
Depending on the reason for your surgery, your doctor may do the following:
- Physical exam
- Blood tests
- Urine tests
Electrocardiogram (ECG, EKG)
—a test that records the electrical currents passing through the heart muscle
Intravenous pyelogram (IVP)
—a type of x-ray that creates images of the kidney, ureters, and bladder by injecting dye into the bloodstream
Kidneys, ureter, bladder (KUB)
—an x-ray of the abdomen
Abdominal or pelvic
—a test that uses sound waves to visualize the inside of the body
—a type of x-ray that uses a computer to create images of structures inside the abdomen or pelvis
Leading up to the procedure:
Talk to your doctor about your medicines. You may be asked to stop taking some medicines up to one week before the procedure, like:
Anti-inflammatory drugs (eg,
Blood thinners such as
- Take antibiotics if instructed.
- Take a laxative and/or use an enema to clean out your intestines if instructed.
- Follow a special diet if instructed.
- Shower the night before using antibacterial soap if instructed.
- Arrange for someone to drive you home from the hospital. Also, have someone to help you at home.
- Eat a light meal the night before. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight.
Description of the Procedure
Several small incisions will be made. They are called keyhole incisions. Carbon dioxide gas will be passed into the abdomen to expand it. This will make it easier for the doctor to see.
A small camera will be passed through one of the incisions. This tool is called an endoscope. It lights, magnifies, and projects an image of the organs onto a video screen. The endoscope will be attached to one of the robotic arms. The other arms will hold tools that are able to grasp, cut, dissect, and suture. These may include:
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The doctor will sit at a console, looking at the images on the screen. Joystick-like hand controls and foot pedals will help to guide the tools. Another doctor will stay by you to adjust the tools as needed. In some cases, organs or tissue might need to be removed. When the procedure is done, the tools will be removed. The doctor will close the incisions with sutures or staples and apply a sterile dressing.
When you return home, do the following to help ensure a smooth recovery:
- Wash the incisions with mild soap and water.
- Ask your doctor about when it is safe to shower, bathe, or soak in water.
- Take antibiotics to help prevent infection if instructed.
- Avoid certain medicines.
- Resume normal activities (eg, daily walks) soon. This will promote healing. You will have to avoid other activities, like driving, sexual activity, and strenuous exercise.
- Gradually progress from a liquid to a solid diet.
- Be sure to follow your doctor's instructions.
Depending on the procedure, you should make a full recovery within a few weeks.