December 19, 2019

Ask the Doctor: Robotic Surgery with Joseph Buell, MD

Joseph BuellJoseph Buell, MD, a General Surgeon with Mission Surgery, answers some questions about robotic surgery.

Q: What benefits does robotic surgery offer surgeons and doctors?

A: Robotic-surgery technology enables surgeons to perform complex surgical procedures with enhanced vision, precision, dexterity and control. Therefore, patients recover quicker and have lower rates of infection.

Q: What kinds of procedures or services will the robot be used for?

A: The robot will be used for colon, pancreas, liver, hepatobiliary, hernia, gastric and esophageal surgeries.

Q: How does this technology affect recovery time?

A: Robotic-assisted surgery not only provides the benefits of minimally invasive surgery, but patients are able to return back to work sooner with a better quality of life than previously experienced with minimally invasive surgery.

Q: What are some potential risks of robotic surgery?

A: All surgeries have potential complications. Robotic surgery is one of the most advanced surgical techniques used today, and in the hands of well-versed and highly trained surgeons and technicians it’s as safe as any other surgical device.

Q: What does the robot look like to you?

A: The robot to me looks like a happy busy surgeon with four arms that are used to control working instruments and a camera. The three-dimensional imaging system and camera technology allow pinpoint accuracy.

Q: What would you like patients who may be skeptical about robots and surgeries to know?

A: Robotic surgery is at the forefront of medical technology, and numerous people travel worldwide to have robotic surgery in the US and at Mission Health. This gives us the essential tools to provide the most modern and up-to-date surgical care, and provide us with a platform to expand into the next century.

Q: What is our surgical team’s philosophy of patient care and the patient experience?

A: Our patients are always first! Mission Health looks to provide the highest quality care close to home, where your loved ones are by your side with HCA Healthcare’s over 50 years of clinical experience to make the best decisions for your health and your family members.

Joseph Buell, MD, is a General Surgeon with Mission Surgery.

For more information about robotic surgery at Mission Health, visit