Call Now Whatsapp Call Back

Laparoscopy and Robotic Surgery: How different are they?

Laparoscopy and Robotic Surgery

In recent times, surgical approaches have seen the rise of two groundbreaking techniques that have revolutionised the way surgeries are performed – Laparoscopic Surgery and Robotic Surgery. Each brings its own set of advantages and caters to diverse medical needs. Are these approaches the same or different? While the approach is similar, there are notable differences between laparoscopic and robotic surgery. Let us understand these cutting-edge approaches slightly better.

What is Laparoscopic Surgery?

Laparoscopic surgery, often referred to as minimally invasive surgery, involves making small incisions through which a laparoscope (a thin, flexible tube with a light and camera). The surgeon navigates and performs the procedure while watching a video monitor, using specialised instruments. 

Example: Laparoscopic cholecystectomy, a minimally invasive approach to gallbladder removal.

What is Robotic Surgery?

Robotic surgery can just be termed as an advanced approach to laparoscopy. It takes a step further by employing a surgical robot which is controlled by a surgeon. The robotic system provides enhanced visualisation and precision, thereby amplifying the surgeon’s capabilities through advanced technology.

Example: Robotic-assisted prostatectomy, a minimally invasive option for prostate removal.

Some basic similarities between the two are small incisions, an inside view of the surgical location, shorter hospital stay, better control of the process and improved clinical outcomes. However, when you go deeper you notice there are subtle but clinically impactful differences that differentiate the two. Now, let us explore some of the differences of each approach:


Laparoscopic Surgery Robotic Surgery
Tiny incisions that allow for camera and small instruments Tiny incisions that allow for a camera, small instruments & endo wrist instruments
The surgeon stands over the patient The surgeon sits at the surgeon’s console
The surgeon operates with instruments that have been inserted into the incision The surgeon operates on the console, while the technology helps mimic his actions in the patient body in real time
Lowered range of motion when compared to robotic surgery Robotic instruments and arms have a full 360-degree motion range. This makes robotic arms more dexterous than even the human hand enhancing the surgeon’s capability
Better control and access to tricky places than open surgery Uncomparable control and access to difficult-to-reach and delicate regions is easier. 
Recovery time is shorter than open surgery Shortest recovery time and enhanced clinical outcomes. 
Reduced risk of blood loss and infections The minimised risk of blood loss and infections due to the cauterisation process helps carry out organ removal or reconstruction surgeries with the least patient discomfort.


  • Size of Incisions: Typically, laparoscopic procedures involve several small incisions, each measuring about half an inch. From these incisions, the laparoscope and other surgical instruments are inserted by the surgeon. However, robotics involves smaller incisions that are enough to accommodate robotic arms, instruments, as well as the robotic camera. The procedure is carried out by robotic ports along the patient cart.
  • Surgical Instruments: In laparoscopy, long, thin instruments are used. These instruments have a joint design that allows for movement within the confined space of the body. Whereas, robotic surgery employs robotic arms controlled by the surgeon. These arms mimic the movements of the surgeon’s hands with a high degree of precision.
  • Surgeon’s Involvement: In laparoscopic surgery, the surgeon directly manipulates the instruments while watching a video monitor that displays the surgical site. In the case of robotic surgery, the surgeon sits at a console and controls the movements of the robotic arms and instruments with hand and foot controls. The system translates the surgeon’s motions into precise actions.
  • Surgical Process: During laparoscopic surgery, the laparoscope provides a 2D or 3D view of the surgical site. The surgeon operates using the visual feedback from the monitor, guiding the instruments through the small incisions. In robotic surgery, the surgeon benefits from a three-dimensional, high-definition view of the surgical field. The robotic arms provide a greater range of motion and flexibility compared to traditional laparoscopic instruments.
  • Level of Dexterity: While laparoscopic surgery offers dexterity, the range of motion can be limited due to the straight design of the instruments. But, robotic surgery allows for enhanced dexterity due to the articulated wrists of the robotic arms, providing a more natural range of motion similar to the human hand.
  • Access to Tricky Areas: Access to challenging or confined areas may be restricted due to the limitations of instrument movement in laparoscopic surgery. This is where robotic surgery has a definitive edge. It excels in accessing intricate and hard-to-reach areas. The flexibility and precision of the robotic arms enhance the surgeon’s ability to navigate complex anatomical structures.
  • Recovery Time: Laparoscopic procedures are known for faster recovery times. However, this improves substantially in robotic surgery as patients experience minimal postoperative pain, reduced blood loss, and quicker return to normal activities.
  • Risk Factors: The risk of infection and blood loss is generally lower in laparoscopic procedures due to the smaller incisions and reduced tissue trauma. This further lowers robotic surgery, contributing to a safer and less invasive experience for patients.

In conclusion, both laparoscopic and robotic surgeries represent remarkable advancements in the field of minimally invasive procedures. While laparoscopy has been a transformative approach, robotic surgery elevates precision and dexterity to unprecedented levels. The choice between the two depends on the specific procedure, surgeon’s expertise, and patient factors.

At the CK Birla Hospital, we pride ourselves on offering cutting-edge surgical solutions, ensuring that our patients receive the most advanced and personalised care. Our team of skilled surgeons, equipped with state-of-the-art technology, is committed to providing you with the best possible outcomes.

Choose excellence. Choose innovation. Choose CK Birla Hospital for your surgical needs.

Request a Call Back X
By clicking Proceed, you agree to our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

Do you have a question?

Get in touch with us

By clicking Proceed, you agree to our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

Get in touch with us

Call Now