History and the future of Robotic Surgery

Robotic surgery is a technique that surgeons employ to operate on patients using small incisions with the help of robotic arms. While the patient remains in the operating room with the robotic arms, surgeons control the equipment from afar and oversee procedures through a camera.

This modern type of surgery gained notoriety thanks to the following benefits: 

  • Improves post-operatory recovery;
  • Less blood loss;
  • Smaller scars;
  • Fewer incisions;
  • Better precision;
  • Shorter hospital stay;
  • Fewer post-operatory infections.

In this article, you’re going to discover the history of robotic surgery, the current applications for this technology in the medical field, and the benefits of robotic surgery. Find out what’s in store for robotic surgery and several reasons why Dr. Samadi is one of the best robotic surgeons to assist you in NYC.

What is the history of robotic surgery?

The history of robotic surgery: 1985-1999

The first documented use of a robot-assisted surgical procedure occurred in 1985. This is when the PUMA 560 robotic surgical arm was used in a delicate neurosurgical biopsy, a non-laparoscopic surgery. The robotic system allowed for a successful robotic surgery and the potential for greater precision when used in minimally invasive surgeries, such as laparoscopies, which typically utilize flexible fiber optic cameras. 

The 1985 robotic surgery led to the first laparoscopic procedure involving a robotic system, a cholecystectomy, in 1987. The following year, the same PUMA system was used to perform a robotic surgery transurethral resection. In 1990, the AESOP system produced by Computer Motion became the first system approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its endoscopic surgical procedure.

The history of robotic surgery: 2000-2022

In 2000, the da Vinci Surgery System broke new ground by becoming the first robotic surgery system approved by the FDA for general laparoscopic surgery. This was the first time the FDA approved an all-encompassing system of surgical instruments and camera/scopic utensils. 

Its predecessors relied upon the use of endoscopes and numerous surgical assistants to perform surgery. The da Vinci robotic surgery system’s three-dimensional magnification screen allows surgeons to view the operative area with the clarity of high resolution. 

The one-centimeter diameter surgical arms represent a significant advancement in robotic surgery from the early, large-armed systems such as the PUMA 560. With such miniaturized operating arms, the da Vinci robotic surgery system removes the need to leverage the sides of the incision walls. This advancement allows for less contact between exposed interior tissue and the surgical device, greatly reducing the risk of infection. The “Endo-wrist” features of the operating arms precisely replicate the skilled motions of the surgeon at the controls, improving accuracy in small operating spaces.

Robotic Prostate Surgery - History

The da Vinci system has been approved by the FDA for use in both adult and pediatric robotic surgery procedures in the following areas:

  • Urological surgeries;
  • General laparoscopic surgeries;
  • General non-cardiovascular thoracoscopic surgeries;
  • Thoracoscopically-assisted cardiotomy procedures.

Robots in medical surgery – applications

Because robotic surgery is at the cutting edge of precision and miniaturization in the realm of surgery, the possible applications are as extensive as the uses of minimally invasive surgery. Robotic surgery has already become a successful option in neurological, urological, gynecological, cardiothoracic, and numerous general surgical procedures. 

Intuitive Surgical, makers of the da Vinci robotic surgery system, have released upgrades in the number of operating arms. This move alone eliminates the need for one surgical assistant, which may expand its clinical applications. 

As a patient, you can find robotic surgery options when facing health problems around:

  • The prostate gland;
  • Heart;
  • Digestive system;
  • Bladder;
  • Kidneys;
  • Gallbladder;
  • And many others.

How does robotic surgery work?

Robotic surgery remains a type of operation in the full control of a surgeon while leveraging the sharp precision of a robotic arm. They key feature that differentiates robotic surgery from open surgery is the surgeon’s access to a console fully geared to manipulate surgical instruments from afar.

There are numerous agents at play during a robotic surgical operation. The procedure cannot start without a small incision through which a 360° camera that facilitates a magnified view of the operation for the doctor.

While the main surgeon utilizes the console with hand and foot controls in order to command the robots, a second surgeon is standing by in order to supervise the way surgical instruments work. Only a robotic arm picks up and manipulates surgical instruments. The surgeon is also in control of the robot’s motions, adjusting its precision compared to his or her own hand gestures.

The most common examples of robotic surgery

Robotic surgery keeps breaking new ground within hospitals and health centres that host robotic equipment. 


  • Gynecologic robotic surgery;
  • Prostate robotic surgery;
  • Heart robotic surgery;
  • Head and neck robotic surgery;
  • Colorectal robotic surgery;
  • Gastrointestinal robotic surgery.

Nowadays, robotic surgery has become the norm for several standard procedures. Gallbladder removal, gastric bypass surgery, prostatectomy, total or partial kidney removal, and many other types of surgery can be conducted with the use of robotic equipment.

Robotic prostate surgery performed with the da Vinci robot

Surgeons acquire better accuracy and precision when performing robotic prostate surgery with the da Vinci robot. Robotic prostate surgery is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that is performed with the da Vinci robot.

The da Vinci robot is a robotic surgical system that was designed to assist surgeons in performing minimally invasive surgery. It has four arms, each of which has a different function. The arms are controlled by the surgeon from a console that sits at the head of the operating table.

The da Vinci robot can be used for many different types of surgeries, including prostate surgery. The robotic prostate surgery is performed through small incisions. It uses surgical instruments inserted through these incisions to perform delicate tasks inside the patient’s body.

What are the benefits of robotic surgery?

Robotic surgery has many benefits. It is less invasive, which means that it can be done with smaller incisions and less tissue damage. It also has better precision, which means that it can be used for more complicated surgeries than traditional methods.

The main benefit of robotic surgery is that it reduces the risk of complications and side effects. This is because there are fewer incisions and less tissue damage, so there are fewer opportunities for infection or other complications to occur.

These are the main benefits of robotic surgery:

  • Less pain and discomfort;
  • Reduced risk of infection;
  • Reduced risk of bleeding;
  • Reduced risk of scarring;
  • Faster recovery time.

The future of robotic surgery

Robotic surgery is not a new type of medical technology. However, only a limited number of hospitals so far are offering robotic solutions to patients due to costs, human resources, and expertise. 

Nonetheless, the future of robotic surgery unveils rapid evolution towards precision and minimally invasive versions of basic surgery procedures. There will also be fewer cases of post-operatory infections and other complications that are associated with traditional open surgeries.

Other modern technologies are envisioned to fuse with robotic surgery. Artificial intelligence can bring automation into the health field to help streamline the work of surgeons.

Nonetheless, even when we shift our eyes from the present into the future, robotic surgery is not likely to replace surgeons. At most, robotic systems are here to enhance human skills and lead to better post-operative outcomes. 

Why is Dr. Samadi one of the best robotic surgeons in NYC?

Dr. David Samadi is a Robotic Surgeon and Urologic Oncology Expert whose name is often heard on the streets of New York City. He has accumulated experience in the field of robotic surgery for 20 years. After more than 9,000 robotic-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomies, Dr. Samadi’s success rate of surgery reached 95%.

Dr. Samadi’s vast expertise recommended him as a trainer for new urologists and prostate surgeons across the United States and not only. He is the author of the SMART Surgery: the Samadi Modified Advanced Robotic Technique that ensures extraordinary prostate surgery results using the da Vinci robotic system. Dr. Samadi is a member of the American Urologic Association and the American Medical Association and holds the position of Director of Men’s Health and Urologic Oncology at St. Francis Hospital in Long Island. Visit Dr. Samadi’s websites at roboticoncology.com and prostatecancer911.com and learn more about men’s health issues from Dr. Samadi’s expertise.