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Frequently Asked Questions

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Robotic Surgery

What conditions can be treated with robotic surgery?

Many conditions can be successfully treated using robotic-assisted surgery, falling under areas like oncologic surgery, heart surgery, orthopedic surgery, urologic surgery, colorectal surgery, gynecologic surgery and general surgery.

Can any doctor perform robotic surgery?

No, not any doctor or surgeon can walk into an operating room and direct a robotic surgery. It requires specialized training in the robotic surgical system, as well as support staff trained in robotic surgery.

Does this mean a robot is operating on me?

No. The robotic system can’t “think” on its own and is not making any kind of decisions. The robotic surgical systems allows surgeons to make precise, delicate motions while controlling the machine.

Is robotic surgery safe?

Any surgery involves risk, such as infection or another complication. But because robotic surgery is minimally invasive, patients experience fewer complications like surgical site infections, as well as less blood loss. Our robotic surgeons are highly skilled, training other surgeons around the country on robotic procedures.

What can I expect in recovering from robotic surgery?

Every patient and every procedure can vary, so it’s best to discuss your specific recovery with your doctor. In general, patients may stay in the hospital one to two nights and then return home. Most patients have recovered fully within six weeks of surgery.

Preparing for Your Procedure

Should I get a second opinion before surgery?

There’s no right or wrong answer to this question. Your goal is to feel confident that the surgery you are having is the best option for your individual situation. If you decide a second opinion is right for you, your doctor can provide a recommendation.

How much will my surgery cost?

Before your hospital visit, it’s a good idea to get an estimate of how much your procedure will cost and what you will owe. Click here to get a quote before your surgery or procedure.

What is outpatient surgery?

Depending on the type of procedure and your personal risk factors, your surgeon may schedule you for ‘outpatient’ or ‘same day’ surgery. This means that you will go home to recover from your surgery on the same day your surgery is performed. Outpatient surgery does not require an overnight stay.

What is inpatient surgery?

Inpatient surgery means you will spend one or more nights in the hospital following your surgery so your doctors can monitor your recovery closely.

What is laparoscopic surgery?

Whereas a traditional “open” surgery uses a single larger incision (think inches), laparoscopic surgery is less invasive, using one or more small incisions (think centimeters), called ports. The surgeon inserts a tube through each opening or port and tiny cameras and surgical instruments go through those tubes to perform the operation. The advantages of laparoscopic surgery include quicker recovery, smaller scars, less bleeding, and getting back to your normal activities sooner.

Surgery Day

Where will my surgery be performed?

Surgeries are performed at Baton Rouge General Bluebonnet, in the main hospital and at Center for Health. You will be notified during your pre-anesthesia evaluation which location to report to. Our staff can arrange a wheelchair if necessary.

Who will be in the operating room during my surgery?

During surgery, there will be a medical team in the operating room to care for you. It varies by the type of procedure you are having, but here is a general list:

  • Surgeon. Your surgeon performs the procedure and is considered the leader in the room.
  • Anesthesiologist. This doctor administers the anesthesia that ‘puts you to sleep’ so you do not feel pain during your procedure. During the surgery, they will monitor your oxygen levels, blood pressure
  • Certified Nurse Anesthetist. This nurse assists the anesthesiologist and monitors you before, during and after your operation to help control your pain.
  • Operating Room Nurse. This is a specially trained nurse that acts as the surgeon’s assistant or ‘right-hand man.’ They help control bleeding, close wounds, and intervene during complications.
  • Surgical Techs. Techs assist with surgery by preparing you for the procedure, sterilize instruments and keep the OR clean and sterilized
  • Medical Students or Residents. Baton Rouge General is a teaching hospital, so doctors in training, also known as residents, may scrub in to watch and learn.

What is a time out?

Inside the operating room, after prepping you for surgery but before it begins, a member of the surgical team will call a ‘time out.’ This is a national best practice in safety and quality where everyone in the operating room pauses and confirms/agrees upon on at least three things:

  1. Correct patient
  2. Correct surgical site
  3. Correct procedure being done

How long will surgery last/take?

The length of time you are in the operating room will vary greatly depending on what type of surgery you have. For instance, an appendectomy, one of the most common procedures performed, takes about an hour. At Baton Rouge General, you can track the progression of your loved one’s surgery using our Surgery Tracker on the Baton Rouge General mobile app.

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