Robotic Bariatric Surgery FAQs

Robotic Bariatric Surgery FAQs

ROBOTIC BARIATRIC SURGERY FAQS – Colorado Bariatric Surgery 

Here we are going to answer some of the most common questions patients have about robotic bariatric surgery in America. This type of weight loss surgery benefits greatly from the use of medical robotic systems. As you may already know, technology plays a huge role in transforming the way weight loss surgery is performed. Plus it also helps reduce risk and human error during surgery! At the Colorado Bariatric Surgery Institute in the United States, we specialise in providing state of the art robotic bariatric surgery. 

Our weight loss patients benefit greatly from a robotic bariatric operation and often request this over other procedures. However, like with any major operation, patients can have questions and rightly so! It’s important to ask questions about any upcoming operation so that you know the potential risk and the best outcome. So, let’s take a look at some frequently asked questions relating to robotic bariatric surgery!

Firstly, let me give you some background information. I’m actually just getting back from the annual ASMBS (American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery) meeting. Once a year bariatric surgeons and bariatric medical doctors gather to exchange new ideas about the medical treatment of obesity. They also discuss surgical techniques now being utilised for weight loss in America.

This year, one of the major sessions was addressing robotic bariatric surgery. The consensus at this meeting was that robotic bariatric surgery is here to stay. In fact, we will undoubtedly experience a sharp increase in robotic bariatric procedures being performed. I would therefore like to share with you some of the most common questions I receive from my patients. I will also cover questions I also get from other weight loss surgeons concerning robotic bariatric surgery.

FAQs on Robotic Bariatric Surgery in the US

There are plenty of FAQs regarding weight loss surgery. Which weight loss surgery is best for me? Am I a good candidate for bariatric surgery? What are the benefits of bariatric surgery? But, here are a few common questions that you might have about robotic bariatric surgery. 

Question: Why don’t all bariatric surgeons do robotic procedures?

Answer: Well, there are several parts to this question. First, surgeons need to see results. If they can see that the surgery is safe, effective, cost effective, and provide good outcomes, they will be happy to perform them. Data shows that robotic bariatrics are safe, have positive outcomes, and may cost slightly more than laparoscopy, but with decreasing costs being realized over time. This is certainly great news for patients hoping to undergo this type of weight loss surgery in the near future.

Secondly, the surgeons need to become well trained with the robot to proficiently perform these complex procedures. This training often involves simulators. So, to become familiar with the robot, then weight loss surgeons must spend time learning the techniques for the procedures. Then finally doing the first few cases with a proctor to ensure safety for the patient. This bariatric training process personally took me over 6 months to complete. Plus I had to dedicate myself to several hours a week for proper training. However, the good news is that surgery residents are now receiving robotic training as part of their education.  So shortly we’ll have many skilled robotic surgeons on hand. This therefore helps to convince more weight loss practices to offer robotic bariatric surgery to their patients. 

Here is another commonly asked question about weight loss surgery and medical robots: 

Question: Why is robotic technology superior to the laparoscope?

Answer: Ok, so let’s first examine the scope. The visualization with the laparoscope compared to the robotic scope is like comparing a black and white television to a HD T.V. The robotic scope is three dimensional and gives the surgeon depth perception. This provides a more precise picture. This high-definition image in real time greatly helps a weight loss operation to go smoothly. In addition, the robot gives the surgeon feedback—both visual and audible—to signal when a task is safe and complete.

One example of this is when a bariatric robot measures the thickness of the tissues before it fires the stapler. If the tissue is too thick, it alerts the operating surgeon to use a different stapler. In contrast, the laparoscopic stapler relies on the surgeon’s judgement to determine if the tissue thickness is sufficient. Put simply, technology prevents human error during weight loss procedures.

Another example where the bariatric robot is advantageous is when the electrocautery device makes a sound to confirm its job is complete. This indicates that it is safe to divide the blood vessels. This then leads to less bleeding, which is always a good thing. Therefore robots help to reduce blood loss during surgery.

Finally, I’ll share a question that I’m hearing  more often from my patients considering bariatric operations:

Question: Will you promise me that you will do my surgery using the robot?

Answer: My answer—absolutely! I have completed almost 1,000 robotic bariatric procedures with good weight loss results. I have also witnessed improvement of co-morbidities like type II diabetes, hypertension, and obstructive sleep apnea post surgery. It’s true that I want nothing less for my patients. In my professional and personal opinion, robotic bariatric procedures are the future, and the best option for weight loss candidates.

Key Learnings – Robotic Bariatric Surgery

Spending time listening to questions that my patients have about medical robots and weight loss surgery is important. By doing this, I begin to understand patient concerns or patient requests in more detail. Being able to put a patient’s mind at ease before surgery is essential. A patient should be fully aware of all the benefits that robotic bariatric surgery provides. Setting expectations and providing professional care and excellent bariatric operations in the US is essential. Bariatric patients should receive the best possible care before, during and after weight loss surgery.

So, what have I learned from my recent meeting? Well, I have learned that robotic bariatric surgery is, indeed, the future of bariatrics and a lot of surgeons agree. This in itself is a very exciting revelation and will continue to transform the medical industry offering countless benefits for weight loss surgeons. 

As weight loss and bariatric experts, our team are always on hand to offer advice, guidance and consultations. If you would like to arrange a consultation for bariatric surgery, please feel free to call our office today on 303-861-4505. Alternatively, you can always visit our website for more information. We are here to assist you with your weight loss journey and of course your goals in achieving a happier and healthier lifestyle. Thank you for taking the time to read this article, we hope it has answered some questions you may have about robotic bariatric surgery. If you have any other questions in relation to robotic bariatrics, contact our weight loss professionals today. 


Dr. Tom Brown

Colorado Bariatric Surgery Institute

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