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Robotic Surgery


The UNM Health System surgical team has years of expertise in performing robotic surgery using minimally invasive procedures with the da Vinci surgical system.

Using advanced instruments and a miniature camera that provides a high-definition, 3-D view inside the body, a surgeon controls UNM Health System's da Vinci surgical robot, which was the first of its kind in New Mexico. Robotic surgery delivers an unparalleled precision you won’t find with traditional surgery or conventional laparoscopic surgery.

Patients choose robotic over traditional surgery for conditions such as prostate, gynecological and pelvic organ prolapse, among others. The minimally invasive procedures provide:

  • Faster recovery
  • Better cosmetic results
  • Reduced blood loss
  • Less pain
  • Less scarring
  • A shorter hospital stay

With the longest running and most experienced surgeons in the state, UNM Health System is proud to be the state's leader in robotic surgery.

Call 505-272-1798 to make an appointment for consultation with one of our robotic surgeons.

Below you will find information about a couple of the most common robotic procedures at UNM Health System.

Robotic Prostatectomy

Robot-assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy is performed through five-to-six keyhole-sized incisions in the lower abdomen.  Carbon dioxide gas is used to "insufflate" (or fill up) the abdomen to provide a working environment inside the body.  This gas is a major reason for the reduced blood loss that is often seen with robotic surgery.  A special robotic video camera and robotic instruments are placed inside the body through these keyhole incisions.  Your surgeon controls all aspects of the robot from a special console inside the operating room.  Ultimately the prostate is placed inside a bag and removed from one of the keyhole incision sites.  The urinary tract is reconstructed with delicate sutures by bringing the bladder down to the urethra.  A Foley catheter is left in place to allow the connection to heal properly.

Robotic Sacrocolpopexy

Robotic sacrocolpopexy is emerging as the gold standard treatment for pelvic organ prolapse.  Prolapse occurs when the vagina and associated pelvic organs - the bladder, bowel or uterus - fall to or through the vaginal opening.  Pelvic organ prolapse is common, and affects up to 40% of women.

Sacrocolpopexy is performed by reattaching the vagina and pelvic organs to the sacrum with the use of a graft or netting material.  Sacrocolpopexy was traditionally performed through a large open incision which required prolonged recovery. Robotic sacrocolpopexy is performed through five-to-six keyhole-sized incisions, with the associated benefits of decreased pain, faster recovery and reduced blood loss.  Our surgeons were the first in the state of New Mexico to perform this procedure.

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