Learn More About Robotic Thoracic Surgery offered at UC Davis

The section of General Thoracic Surgery at UC Davis is offering Robotic Thoracic Surgery to further enhance our top regional minimally invasive thoracic surgery program. 


 What is robotic surgery? 

Robotic surgery is performed in much the same way that minimally invasive thoracic surgery (VATS) is performed.  It involves the use of small incisions, a video camera and a surgical robot.  The surgical robot is under the control of your surgeon at all times.  One of the many advantages of the surgical robot is the ability to have wristed articulation inside the chest, almost like having a surgeon’s hand inside your chest (without having a large incision).  The robot also provides exceptional optics, surgeon control of all instruments and is ideal for visualization in tight spaces like the middle of the chest1.  Additionally, robotic lung resection is associated with a shorter need for narcotic pain medication after surgery and an earlier return to usual activities when it is compared to traditional VATS lung resections2.  When compared to VATS, robotic surgery has been found to have similar complication and death rates, as well as similar long-term survival for cancer patients undergoing cancer resections3


For what surgeries is the robot being used? 

We are currently using the surgical robot for:

  • mediastinal tumors (tumor in the middle of the chest)
  • lung biopsy
  • lung lobectomy (removal of parts of the lung)
  • removal of masses from the chest
  • procedures of the diaphragm


The UC Davis Robotic Thoracic Surgery Program offers unprecedented new value and quality to our patients

UC Davis Robotic Thoracic Surgery Team:

Dr. Elizabeth A. David

Dr. David Tom Cooke

Robin Kelly, PA-C


  1. Cerfolio EJ, Bryan AS, Minnich DJ.  Operative techniques in robotic thoracic surgery for inferior or posterior mediastinal pathology.  . J Thor and CV Surgery 2012; 143 (5) 1138-43.
  2. Louie BE, FarivarAS, Aye RW et al. Early Experience with Robotic Lung Resection Results in Similar Operative Outcomes and Morbiditiy When Compared with Matched Video-Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery Cases.  Ann Thor Surg 2012 May Vol 93 (5) 1598-1605.
  3. Park BJ, Melfi F, Mussi A et al. Robotic lobectomy for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC): Long-term oncologic results. J Thor and CV Surgery 2012; 143 (2) 383-9.
By | 2013-09-17T22:40:30+00:00 September 17, 2013|Blow Your Mind Technology|