Your surgeon has chosen to perform your operation with robotic surgery. This information sheet aims to provide you with information on what robotic surgery is and what to expect from the operation.


Robotic surgery is a form of minimally invasive surgery performed through small incisions. During the operation, the surgeon sits at a console next to the patient with a high definition, 3D view of the patient’s anatomy provided by an endoscope in the patient’s abdomen. The surgeons’ hand, wrist and finger movements made at the console (outside the surgical field) are translated into precise, real-time movement of surgical instruments attached to 3 or 4 robotic arms.


Robotic surgery allows surgeons to perform many complex procedures with a high degree of precision, flexibility and control. The visualisation and dexterity provided by the robot allow more movement and consequently an ability to perform complex manoeuvres in small spaces.


Dr Gillespie and Dr Slack have undergone training in robotic surgery and are accredited to perform these procedures at Mater Private Hospital.


Robotic surgery was first used in the field of general surgery in 2000, and has been used in the field of colorectal surgery more recently. More than 3 million patients have undergone robotic surgery worldwide across 64 countries.


Laparoscopic surgery is another form of minimally invasive surgery in which the surgeon stands at the patient and holds the surgical instruments himself. The surgery is also performed through small incisions and the surgeon views the anatomy using an endoscope also placed through a small incision. Dr. Slack and Dr. Gillespie are accomplished laparoscopic surgeons, having performed hundreds of laparoscopic operations over their training and surgical careers.


Dr. Gillespie and Dr. Slack always aim to perform minimally invasive surgery for our patients when possible. The most important component of surgery is patient safety and both robotic and laparoscopic surgery have been shown to be safe for patients. Both techniques offer advantages of less pain, better cosmesis, earlier recovery of bowel function and a shorter time in hospital when compared to open surgery.


If you have any questions regarding your robotic surgery please do not hesitate to contact your surgeon as we are always happy to discuss any concerns you have with you prior to your operation.