Dr. Mohammed Rehan Sayeed

Consultant - Cardiovascular And Thoracic Surgery Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery Heart Transplant Surgery And Robotic Cardiac Surgery

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Dr. Mohammed Rehan Sayeed

Consultant - Cardiovascular And Thoracic Surgery Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery Heart Transplant Surgery And Robotic Cardiac Surgery

Manipal Hospitals, Yeshwanthpur

Exploring Surgical Frontiers: Open, Laparoscopic, And Robotic Surgery

Posted On: Feb 07, 2024

blogs read 3 Min Read

Know more about Open, Laparoscopic, and Robotic Surgeries

Recent years have seen notable technological breakthroughs in medical and surgical treatments. Robotic-assisted surgeries are gaining popularity over conventional open surgery and laparoscopic surgeries. For very long open surgeries were the mainstay of surgical treatment which then gradually got replaced by minimally invasive laparoscopic surgeries. In the past 2-3 years robotic-assisted surgeries have been gaining the upper hand in surgical procedures as they have some obvious benefits over open and laparoscopic surgeries. Through this content, we aim to provide a comprehensive overview of open, laparoscopic, and robotic-assisted surgeries by showcasing their special qualities, advantages, and possible disadvantages.


Open Surgery

Conventional open surgery has been the standard surgical approach for several medical conditions requiring surgical treatment. As the name suggests, open surgery involves opening up the surgical site via a large incision to gain access to the targeted organ or area. 

Pros of Open Surgery

  • Direct visualisation of the surgical site
  • Assessment through tactile feedback
  • Familiarity and experience with the technique 

Cons of Open Surgery

  • Painful due to the incision 
  • Risk of infection at the site of incision
  • Not recommended in certain subsets of people (people with advanced age, or those with uncontrolled or longstanding diabetes
  • Longer recovery time and prolonged hospital stay (about a week or ten days)
  • Visible scarring

Laparoscopic Surgery

The introduction of Laparoscopic surgery, a minimally invasive surgery changed the landscape of surgical treatment. In this approach, a laparoscope (a thin, lighted tube with a camera) is inserted through a small incision, allowing surgeons to visualise the surgical site on a monitor. Since laparoscopic surgeries require smaller incisions and the surgery is carried out with specialised tools they promise lesser pain and faster recovery. Due to all these factors laparoscopic surgery became the recommended surgery for gastrointestinal surgeries such as gallbladder and appendix surgeries, intestinal resection, and some lung and prostatic surgeries.

Pros of Laparoscopic Surgery

  • Lesser postoperative pain
  • Reduced risk of infection
  • Quick recovery and reduced hospital stay (about 3-4 days)
  • Better cosmetic outcomes

Cons of Laparoscopic Surgery

  • May not be suitable for certain complex surgeries
  • Steeper learning curve and time for adapting to the technique
  • Reduced tactile feedback

Robotic Surgery

Robotic surgery is a novel surgical technique that comes with the benefits of laparoscopic surgery and the precision of robotic systems. In this technique, surgeons control robotic arms equipped with specialised instruments and a high-definition camera. A robotic system enables enhanced dexterity and a magnified 3D visualisation (a magnification of up to 16x can be obtained) of the operative field. Robotic arms also provide high precision.

Pros of Robotic Surgery

  • Safer and accurate
  • Suitable for all subsets of the population, including those at advanced age or those having any underlying comorbidities
  • Minimally invasive since the procedure involves pinhole incisions
  • Improved precision 
  • Enhanced 3D visualisation 
  • Bypasses human errors due to fatigue during lengthy procedures 
  • Faster recovery and shorter hospital stays and faster recovery compared to open surgery (1-2 days)

Cons of Robotic Surgery

  • Limited availability of robotic-assisted surgeries in healthcare settings
  • High initial costs 
  • Limited availability in some healthcare settings

At Manipal Hospitals Yeshwanthpur, the decision between open, laparoscopic, and robotic surgery is based on several variables, such as the type of procedure, the experience of the surgeon, the characteristics of the patient, and the available resources. Open surgery is still useful in some situations, but less intrusive methods—particularly robotic surgery—are changing the medical landscape and providing patients with advantages including less discomfort, faster recovery times, and better results. These surgical techniques will probably continue to develop as technology progresses, giving both patients and surgeons greater choices.


Prostate surgery, gynaecological operations, colorectal surgeries, cardiac surgery, and more are among the procedures that involve robotic-assisted surgery. 

In general, robotically assisted surgery is regarded as safe if carried out by qualified and experienced surgeons. Similar to any surgical process, there are chances of complications and varied patient outcomes. However robotic surgery's minimally invasive approach frequently results in less blood loss, fewer infections, and shorter hospital stays. It is as safe as open or laparoscopic surgery in trained hands.

Any surgeon who has undergone specialized training and has acquired expertise using the particular robotic can perform the surgery. Selecting a certified and competent robotic surgeon is crucial for your procedure because not all doctors are trained in robotic surgery.

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