Robotics in Medical Surgery

   April 3, 2009   

Robotic prostate surgery Here are some facts:

1. In 1997, surgery was performed in Cleveland using Zeus, a robotic surgical system. The operation successfully reconnected a woman’s fallopian tubes.
2. In May of 1997, the first robotically-assisted operation for a heart bypass case in Germany was successfully done using the da Vinci surgical system.
3. The first coronary artery bypass graft was performed using the ZEUS robotic surgical system in October, 1999, in Canada.
4. The first unmanned robotic surgery was performed in Italy, in May, 2006. What is robotic surgery?

The da Vinci Surgical System, ZEUS Robotic Surgical System and AESOP Robotic System are the top three electronic applications of robotics in the field of medical surgery globally. The US (FDA) has permitted the use of the Da Vince Surgical System as a viable tool in the operating room, making it the first robotic technology to be accepted in America. Many people undergoing surgery still have yet to experience the advantages of robotics, but more and more surgeons believe that robotic surgery can make a huge impact in the medical field in terms of cost, time and medical precision. Robotic surgery involves the use of surgeon-assisted robotic equipment for performing surgical operations.

Judging by how much the electronic industry and the information age have changed since the beginning of the 21st century, the field of applied robotics certainly has the potential to alter people’s quality of health in just a few short years. We have seen how technology changed the mass production of automobiles and created radical short-cuts in production. Just as in manufacturing, the operating room will soon need fewer personnel who will have the ability to produce even better results. Consider the enhanced precision afforded surgeons and the reduced trauma to patients with the use of robotic equipment. For instance, traditional heart bypass surgery requires that the patient’s chest be cracked open and that a foot-long incision be made. The surgeon first cuts through skin, then subcutaneous tissue, fascia, muscle, fascia, and then finally gets to the heart. With the use of the da Vinci Surgical System or ZEUS systems, it is possible to perform surgery on the heart by making three small incisions in the chest, each about 1 centimeter in diameter, which is far smaller than the traditional foot-long incision. Patients experience much less pain and far less bleeding in robotic operations. This, in turn, results in a faster recovery and fewer complications from infection after the operation.

For patients, the benefits of robotic assisted surgery may include:

  • Decreased post-operative pain
  • Decreased risk of infection
  • Decreased use of anesthesia
  • Decreased blood loss
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Quicker and more complete recovery
  • Faster return to normal daily activities

This is revolutionary technology in its first stages. The best is yet to come.

Robotics in Medical Surgery
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