Dr. GallagerWelcome DR. LAURA LYN GALLAGHER | Board-certified general and bariatric surgery specialist

Home/Minimally Invasive Surgery/Da Vinci® Robotic Surgical System

Da Vinci® Robotic Surgical System

At the heart of our robotic-assisted, minimally invasive surgery program is the da Vinci® surgical system. Weight loss procedures performed with the help of robotic surgery can be advantageous for a number of reasons, including less invasiveness as well as increased surgical precision and control. With the computer-guided capabilities of robotic surgery, the da Vinci® system can simplify complex portions of bariatric surgery, laparoscopic surgery, and revision cases, among other medical procedures. In contrast to traditional surgery performed with a large and open incision, da Vinci® only requires a few tiny incisions during weight loss surgery. Dr. Hossein Bagshahi is one of few fellowship-trained bariatric surgeons in the country who offer robotic weight loss surgery.

What is Robotic Weight Loss Surgery?

Robotic weight loss surgery refers to use of the da Vinci® surgical system during gastric bypassgastric sleeveduodenal switch, and other bariatric procedures. The da Vinci® system was FDA-approved in 2000 and is now utilized for a number of surgical applications, including gynecology, urology, and cardiovascular surgery.

Traditionally, procedures like laparoscopic surgery were performed using inflexible, long-shafted instruments that could not bend or rotate. In addition, the instruments were handheld and required a surgeon to view the anatomy on a nearby 2D monitor. Robotic-assisted surgery can improve these processes by allowing a surgeon to perform the procedure via computer-guided, surgeon-controlled robotic arms. These mechanical arms translate the surgeon’s controls into highly accurate movements inside the body.

How Does da Vinci® Robotic Surgery Work?

The da Vinci® system is controlled by Dr. Bagshahi, who performs the procedure at a chair-side console. With the assistance of a tiny camera, Dr. Bagshahi is able to see a magnified, three-dimensional view of your internal organs in real time and without open surgery. His maneuvers are translated to four robotic arms, which make ultra-precise movements inside the body. In addition to offering a greater degree of surgical control, da Vinci® can eliminate the need for large incisions.

What are the Benefits of Using da Vinci® Technology for Bariatric Surgery?

Robotic-assisted surgery often offers a number of benefits for bariatric patients, including:

The da Vinci® system can also provide greater visibility of the internal organs during surgery, often allowing robotic assistance to be particularly useful during complex procedures. While not all patients may be a candidate for robotic weight loss surgery, Dr. Bagshahi can help you determine whether your bariatric procedure may be improved with the da Vinci® surgical system.

Who is a Candidate for Robotic Weight Loss Surgery?

In general, the da Vinci® system can assist in complex weight loss procedures for patients who have a BMI of greater than or equal to 40 and are considered morbidly obese. Robotic-assisted surgery may also be indicated for medically obese individuals who also contend with other conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure. Dr. Bagshahi will review your medical history in great detail before recommending the da Vinci® system as part of your bariatric treatment plan.

What are My Robotic Weight Loss Surgery Options?

While robotic weight loss surgery can assist Dr. Bagshahi during a range of bariatric procedures, the da Vinci® system may not be recommended for every patient. This technology is often utilized during more complex cases of weight loss surgery, although the potential risks and benefits vary from patient to patient. Dr. Bagshahi will thoroughly evaluate your case and your medical history to determine whether complementing your treatment with the da Vinci® system can better achieve your goals. Common procedures performed with robotic surgery include:

Robotic Sleeve Gastrectomy

Gastric sleeve surgery can be performed using da Vinci® in cases where a minimally invasive approach is the best course of action to achieve your goals. During the procedure, your stomach is reduced to form a narrow “sleeve” shape, allowing patients to consume less while becoming full faster than they would before surgery. Small incisions are made in the abdomen, allowing the surgeon-controlled robotic arms to be utilized as ultra-precise surgical instruments. Dr. Bagshahi is also able to obtain a complete view of the inside of your body via a lighted camera at the end of a laparoscope.

Robotic Gastric Bypass Surgery

Gastric bypass surgery is popularly performed using the da Vinci® robotic system, which uses wristed instruments to bend and rotate beyond the capabilities of the human hand. As a result, robotic gastric bypass surgery typically allows a lower risk of gastrointestinal leaks and other complications. This procedure involves not only reducing the size of the stomach pouch, but also rerouting the digestive tract to bypass most of the stomach. In turn, patients can restrict the amount of food they consume and better manage their hunger.

Robotic Duodenal Switch Surgery

Duodenal switch surgery, or “biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch,” is capable of achieving the most weight loss when compared to other bariatric procedures. Surgery can be particularly beneficial for individuals affected by medical weight-related conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease. When performed using laparoscopic and robotic techniques, the duodenal switch procedure can offer shorter incisions, reduced recovery time, and a lower risk of complications than open surgery.

How Long Does it Take to Recover From Robotic Weight Loss Surgery?

Recovery times vary based on which weight loss surgery was performed; however, robotic surgery generally offers an accelerated period of downtime, as well as faster overall healing, when compared to traditional surgical techniques. After laparoscopic/robot-assisted surgery, most patients can expect to be up and walking on the same day as surgery. Depending on your procedure, many patients can go home on the same day or after one to two nights in the hospital. We recommend patients take off from work for four to seven days and remain active while at home. You can generally start light exercise by one to two weeks after surgery. That said, everyone has a unique rate of healing so it’s important to follow Dr. Bagshahi’s instructions on activity restrictions.

Since the incisions made are only a few centimeters long, patients can experience less bleeding, swelling, and overall discomfort after robotic surgery. The increased precision offered by laparoscopic procedures also causes less trauma to surrounding tissue when compared to open surgery, further speeding up recovery times. The da Vinci® system is also proven to have a reduced risk of complications and infections, often shortening your hospital stay in cases where in-patient care is necessary. Dr. Bagshahi will let you know what you can expect with regard to recovery times based on your unique surgical plan.

How Long Do Results From Robotic Weight Loss Surgery Last?

Whether your procedure utilizes the da Vinci® system or not, the results of weight loss surgery are designed to help you make lifetime improvements to your health, confidence, and happiness. Bariatric surgery is irreversible and permanently changes the anatomy of your digestive tract. As long as patients maintain an active lifestyle and follow the dietary programs in place by their weight loss team, the results of surgery should remain stable indefinitely. That said, failing to follow the post-operative instructions set forth by your medical team can cause complications that may hinder the progress you’ve made, such as weight regain, dumping syndrome, and other negative reactions. Dr. Bagshahi will go over what you can expect after your weight loss procedure in person.

Ultimately, the positive effects of your procedure will only last as long as your commitment to long-term lifestyle changes. In most cases, the outcome of bariatric surgery further motivates patients to lead a healthier lifestyle long after their weight loss journey is complete.

Will I Have Scars From Robotic Weight Loss Surgery?

Yes, every surgical procedure will leave scars to some extent once incisions are completely healed. One of the primary benefits of da Vinci® is the ability to perform your weight loss surgery using smaller incisions than the long, open cut typically necessary with a traditional procedure. Rather than a lengthy abdominal incision, Dr. Bagshahi can operate through very short incisions that measure approximately one to two centimeters long. These incisions can heal very well, and do not usually result in extensive scarring after the procedure. Taking care to follow Dr. Bagshahi’s recommendations on proper wound care, as well as applying high-quality skincare products to your scars in the years to come can both help minimize the visibility of your scars.

Are There Any Risks Associated with da Vinci® Robotic Surgery?

The risks of robotic-assisted surgery are consistent with those of conventional weight loss procedures and include:

Fortunately, the da Vinci® system has evidence to suggest that gastrointestinal leaks and other complications can occur at a lower rate when compared to traditional open surgery. Still, it is essential to entrust your care to a highly experienced bariatric surgeon in order to minimize the risk of adverse outcomes if you are considering any type of weight loss procedure.

Are There Alternatives to da Vinci® Robotic Surgery?

Only an experienced bariatric surgeon can help you determine whether robotic weight loss surgery is the most ideal treatment for you according to your needs and medical history. If Dr. Bagshahi and Dr. Gallagher confirm that another technique or bariatric procedure may more effectively achieve your goals, our team can review your options with you. Our doctors in DFW also offer a host of other minimally invasive procedures, such as laparoscopic weight loss surgery, to help ensure each person who visits our practice is able to find an optimal solution for their unique health needs. Similar to robotic procedures, laparoscopic surgery can also reduce scarring, recovery times, discomfort during the healing process, and the overall risk of complications when compared to more traditional techniques. Our team would be happy to develop the best treatment plan for you after evaluating your needs in a consultation.

Who Should Perform da Vinci® Robotic Weight Loss Surgery?

Even with minimally invasive procedures, it’s crucial to entrust your health goals to an experienced, qualified, and supportive weight loss team led by a skilled bariatric surgeon. Your results and satisfaction after robotic surgery depend on who you choose to perform your treatment, so we encourage Dallas patients to enlist a bariatric surgeon who offers:

Not only is Dr. Bagshahi uniquely qualified to perform surgery using the da Vinci® system, but Dr. Laura Gallagher is also a board-certified surgery specialist with fellowship training in minimally invasive weight loss procedures. We’re committed to helping you achieve your goals while providing you with the high-quality results and gentle, compassionate care you deserve.

Additional Robotic Weight Loss Surgery FAQs

What is laparoscopic surgery?

Laparoscopic surgery refers to any procedure that uses a “laparoscope” — a lighted telescope with a camera on the end. This laparoscope, along with tiny, specialized surgical instruments, makes it possible to perform surgery through a few short incisions rather than one large wound. As a result, laparoscopic techniques can offer a less invasive way to perform your weight loss procedure. 

How many incisions will be required during my surgery?

The number of incisions necessary to perform your procedure will depend on the type of bariatric surgery chosen. Robotic-assisted techniques can be utilized during a sleeve gastrectomy, gastric bypass surgery, duodenal switch procedures, and more. Dr. Bagshahi will inform you of how many incisions are required to complete your surgery in person. 

How long has robotic weight loss surgery been around?

Robotic surgery has advanced significantly in the last 20 years, and the da Vinci® system is now utilized during an array of medical procedures. In addition to bariatric surgery, robotic techniques are now used during thoracic, cardiovascular, gynecologic, and pelvic surgery, among many other surgical disciplines. Laparoscopic surgery in general has been performed for many decades and is often considered the “gold standard” for many weight loss procedures. 

Is robotic bariatric surgery safe?

Yes, robotic weight loss surgery is considered very safe when performed by a qualified bariatric surgeon who has experience using the da Vinci® system. Weight loss procedures have evolved significantly in the last few decades, offering patients more minimally invasive options than ever before. Dr. Bagshahi completed a rigorous fellowship program specifically focused on minimally invasive, laparoscopic, and robotic-assisted techniques, making him uniquely qualified to perform weight loss procedures with the da Vinci® robotic surgical system. 

Will I get the same results from robotic-assisted bariatric surgery?

The quality of your weight loss results is more dependent on your commitment to a healthy and active lifestyle after the procedure. However, robotic weight loss surgery has a substantial record of improving patient outcomes by reducing bleeding, swelling, downtime, and the overall risk of complications after the procedure. 

At Bagshahi Bariatric and General Surgery, your long-term health and happiness are our priority. If you have questions about the different weight loss techniques our bariatric surgeon offers, or if you would like to schedule a consultation, please contact our practice today.