A new study on keyhole or "laparoscopic" surgery for obesity indicates that the surgery can be safely performed with a completely robotic approach.

Mechanical arms would be attached to the instruments that the surgeon would normally hold and a surgeon would sit at a console with video monitor and move attached instruments that activate the mechanical arms. The surgeon wouldn’t even have to be present in the same room, he could be miles away.
A medical team form California has already used a robotic system called da Vinci system that has some features that could help surgeons operate. The system generates a three-dimensional image, which makes it easier for surgeons to tie knots compared with standard laparoscopy, which only features a two-dimensional image.
It is said that it takes less time for robotic approach to end the procedure but not every surgeon is ready to step down from the operating table and sit behind a robotic console.
The representative of the Californian team said that the study wasn't intended for established surgeons who've done hundreds of procedures, but for the people who are first learning to do gastric bypass.

The da Vinci system was approved by the Food and Drug Administration last year for use in heart bypass surgery.