da Vinci Robotic Surgery

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At Melbourne Urology Centre, our specialist urologists are experts in the use of the da Vinci robotic surgery system. The da Vinci surgical system is one which has been designed to facilitate surgical procedures that are minimally invasive, therefore offering both the patient and the surgeon numerous potential benefits.

Doctors Shekib Shahbaz and Tony de Sousa of Melbourne Urology Centre are fully trained and highly experienced in performing da Vinci robotic surgery, which can be used to treat a number of conditions. They provide every patient with personal care with a highly individualized approach.

What is da Vinci robotic surgery?

The da Vinci robotic technique involves the use of specialized robotic equipment to perform minimally-invasive surgical procedures through tiny keyhole incisions.

During da Vinci robotic surgery, the robotic system is completely under the control of the surgeon. The da Vinci system is comprised of three main components:

  • The surgeon console: this is where your surgeon sits during the da Vinci robotic surgery. From here, they have a high-definition, 3-dimensional view of the patient’s anatomy. The surgeon also controls the robotic instruments from this position.
  • The patient cart: this is positioned near the operating table. It is where the robotic instruments move in response to the surgeon’s hand movements from the surgeon console, working in real time.
  • The vision cart: this provides makes communication between the components of the da Vinci system possible, and it provides the surgical team with a clear view of the procedure.

What are the benefits of da Vinci robotic surgery?

In the past, surgeons would need to make large incisions in order to be able to see and work on the area of concern in the patient; this is what is referred to as open surgery. Nowadays, most urological procedures can be performed in a way that is minimally-invasive (requires much smaller incisions); either laparoscopically, or even using the da Vinci robotic surgery system.

Da Vinci robotic surgery is widely accepted to be safer and more precise than traditional open surgery. Compared to traditional open surgical technique, or even when compared to laparoscopic surgery, da Vinci robotic surgery offers patients the following advantages:

  • A shorter operating time
  • Less blood loss
  • A shorter hospital stay
  • Faster recovery time
  • Less pain after surgery
  • Much smaller incisions, therefore less scarring.

For surgeons, da Vinci robotic surgery offers the following advantages:

  • Magnified, high definition, 3D vision inside the patient’s body
  • A greater range of movements is possible using very small and very precise instruments.

What types of procedures is da Vinci robotic surgery used for?

Da Vinci robotic surgery is the preferred technique used by surgeons across a number of medical fields, including cardiology, orthopaedics, gynaecology, and surgery of the head and neck, just to name a few.

At Melbourne Urology Centre, our specialist urologists have performed hundreds of procedures using the da Vinci robotic surgery system. We are experts in providing an exceptional standard of care using this advanced surgical technique.

Depending on the patient’s individual condition, our specialist urologists may choose to perform da Vinci robotic surgery for the following procedures:

This procedure is a curative surgical option for patients with prostate cancer, where the cancer is confined to the prostate and the patient has a life expectancy of more than 8-10 years. The da Vinci robot is used to facilitate the removal of prostate gland and some of the surrounding tissue.

This procedure is used to correct a blockage between the kidney and the ureter (known is the pelvic-ureteric junction, PUJ).

During this procedure, non-cancerous enlarged prostate tissue (benign prostate hyperplasia, BPH) is removed. It is performed in men with very large prostates who are experiencing moderate to severe urinary symptoms associated with BPH.

This procedure involves the removal of the entire kidney. This is usually performed for kidney cancer but may on occasion be required for a large, benign (non-cancerous) tumour, or if the kidney is non-functioning.

This procedure involves the surgeon removing a cancerous or occasionally non-cancerous (benign) tumour from the kidney. It is sometimes referred to as ‘nephron-sparing’ surgery since most of the kidney and its functioning units (nephrons) are preserved.

This procedure is performed to treat a particular type of cancer that arises from the internal lining of the kidney, known as a urothelial tumour. The kidney as well as the ureter are removed during this type of da Vinci robotic surgery.

Is da Vinci robotic surgery an appropriate choice for me; what other options do I have?

During your consultation, your specialist urologist will discuss your treatment options in detail with you, including assessing your suitability for da Vinci robotic surgery. For most patients, the da Vinci system is a very safe and effective surgical approach that offers both the patient and the surgeon numerous practical benefits. Your doctor will be able to answer any specific questions that you have, based on your individual condition.

Melbourne Urology Centre are the experts in da Vinci robotic surgery.

Our specialist urologists, Mr Shekib Shahbaz and Mr Tony de Sousa, are highly experienced, fully trained and highly skilled in performing da Vinci robotic surgery. They offer their patients an entirely individualised service with a personal touch. Our staff understand the need to take time to explain complex medical conditions and procedures in simple terms, so that you and your family are accurately informed.

You may contact our clinic via the request form or by phoning 1300 702 811, to request an appointment with one of our specialist urologists.


Written by Dr. Shekib Shahbaz and Dr. Tony de Sousa


Content references:

Koh, D. H., Jang, W. S., Park, J. W., Ham, W. S., Han, W. K., Rha, K. H., Choi, Y. D., (2018), Efficacy and safety of robotic procedures performed using the da Vinci robotic surgical system at a single institute in Korea: experience with 10000 cases, Yonsei Medical Journal, 59(8), 975-981, [https://doi.org/10.3349/ymj.2018.59.8.975], accessed 09/2/21.

Uberoi, J., Disick, G. I. S., Munver, R., (2009), Minimally invasive surgical management of pelvic-ureteric junction obstruction: update on the current status of robotic-assisted pyeloplasty, BJU International, 104(11), 1722-1729,[https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1464-410X.2009.08682.x], accessed 09/2/21.

Yu, H. Y., Friedlander, D. F., Patel, S., Hu. J. C., (2012), The current status of robotic oncologic surgery, CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, 63(1), 45-56, [https://doi.org/10.3322/caac.21160], accessed 09/2/21.

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