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Robotic Surgery FAQ's


What is robotic surgery?

Robotic-assisted surgery is essentially minimally-invasive surgery (or key-hole incision surgery) using a motion-capable computer between me and the patient.

What type of patients are eligible for robotic surgery?

The ideal robot-assisted patient is an individual who has not had many abdominal surgeries.  The subset of surgery patients who would not be considered to be candidates for the robotic approach is very small.  The robot allows us to perform a minimally-invasive surgery on more patients than ever before because we can see better with the robot, and the dexterity of the instruments is so good.  Ultimately, the decision will be up to the surgeon and the patient's primary care physician.

What should patients know when considering robotic surgery?

The patient should know that the surgeon manually connects the patient to the robot.  He or she then sits in the console a few feet away from the patient.  We use micro-surgical instruments which essentially become the surgeons hands and view the anatomy through a 3-D vision system (like a pair of binoculars) with magnification 10 times that of the naked eye to perform the procedure.  It makes for a more safe, ergonomic, detailed surgery.

What are the benefits of robotic surgery?

The benefits of robotic surgery are many.  Patients will generally experience less blood loss during surgery, less pain following surgery, and fewer postoperative complications including infection.  This allows  for a faster recovery and less scarring.  With the increase dexterity of the robot as well as the advantage of 3-D optics it makes for a better and safer operation.  These factors combined frequently allow the patient to return to normal activity faster. 

What are the possible downsides to robotic hernia surgery?

As with any surgery, there are risks to the patient.  I will say that because of the exceptional visualization allows for more precise manipulation of the tissue by the surgeon using the robot, many of us feel that robotic surgery is safer than other approaches.  Any surgical tool (and the root is just a sophisticated tool) is only as good as the surgeon using it.  To date, I have performed thousands of minimally-invasive procedures, an ever increasing number of these with the robot.  Robotic assisted surgery is a new technology and as of yet there are no long term follow up studies but the preliminary experience and results from early clinical data are promising.

What are the other treatment options and how is robotic surgery different?

Your three basic surgical options are 1) Open, 2) Laparoscopic, and 3) Robotic.  Robotic surgery is different because of the superior visualization with the 3-D vision system and the markedly increased dexterity of the instruments, allowing for a overall safer surgery.

Why would someone elect robotic surgery over the other options?

I feel your chances of complications, although already low, are further reduced because of the superior instruments and visualization allowed by the robot.

What is the most important thing that patients should know about robotic surgery that they probably don’t?

The most common misconception regarding robotic surgery is that patients think “the robot” is performing their surgery.  On the contrary, I have absolute control over every movement made by the robot.  The robot literally just copies and miniaturizes my exact hand motions with small specialized instruments inside the patient.

Elvira Klause, MD, FACS

General Surgeon located in South Orange County, San Clemente, CA

Dr. Elvira Klause, M.D., FACS, is a highly skilled, board-certified general surgeon specializing in hernia repair, hemorrhoids, laparoscopic surgery, abdominal surgery, robotic surgery, breast surgery, oncological procedures and dermatology procedures at her warm and personalized offices in San Clemente, CA. Praised by patients for her small-town hospitality and extreme quality of care, Dr. Klause brings over 15 years of experience in caring for the general, breast, advanced laparoscopic, colorectal, oncologic, skin cancer and hemorrhoid surgery needs of patients throughout South Orange County. 

Dr. Klause earned a bachelor of science degree from UCLA in 1989. She received her medical training at the University of Missouri in Columbia in 1993 and completed her residency in surgery in 1999 at Martin Luther King Hospital. After earning the Chief Resident Award, she was chosen for a fellowship in trauma surgery and critical care from Martin Luther King Hospital in 2000.

In addition to providing quality care to her patients, Dr. Klause was also a clinical preceptor for the University of Southern California and a clinical associate professor for the Western University of Health Sciences Physician Assistant program for many years.  She was also a member-at-large for Saddleback Memorial Medical Center from 2008–2010, and Chief of Surgery from 2013-2014 also was on the Cancer Committee and the Chart Review Committee.

Dr. Klause is a board-certified diplomat of the American Board of Surgery and a fellow of the American College of Surgeons. She holds hospital privileges at Saddleback Memorial Medical CenterLaguna Hills, Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo and Laguna Beach, Surgery Center at Saddleback, Foothill Ranch Surgery Center and the Laguna Niguel Surgery Center. She is a specialist at the highly advanced single-incision laparoscopic surgery method and Robotic assisted surgery.

Dr. Klause happily lives in South Orange County along with her loving husband and three children. In her free time, she loves being a supermom for her children by helping them with crafting adventures as well as cooking delicious gourmet meals.

Why My Patients Prefer the THD Treatment
  •  Quick out-patient procedure; allows you to be home the same day!
  • NO cutting or removal of tissue, providing minimal discomfort & rapid recovery!
  • Most patients return to their normal activity within 4 days!

Call my office for an appointment, "let us see if THD can help you too!"

For more information about the noninvasive THD treatment please visit our Hemorrhoids FAQ page. 


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Elvira Klause, MD, FACS
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