Robotics Help Surgeons Perform More Precise Surgery
Back in 1997, the first robotic surgery ever performed was a gallbladder removal. The surgeon performing that surgery used a prototype for surgical robotics that was approved by the FDA in 1998, and is known today as the da Vinci® Surgical System. Since then, surgeons have used this equipment to surgically treat thousands of patients with gallbladder disease and other conditions.
According to a July 2018 article in General Surgery News, a monthly newspaper for general surgeons, robotics will continue to “dramatically reshape” the practice of surgery and improve patient outcomes. For patients who undergo minimally invasive robotic surgical procedures, the benefits include smaller incisions, shorter procedure times, less risk for tissue damage or blood loss, and faster recovery.
Surgical Robotics Continue to Evolve
Robotic surgery is considered an important innovation in the medical field because it greatly enhances a surgeon’s skills via advanced instrumentation and 3D visualization. Robotic-assisted surgery allows for more complicated procedures that require a higher degree of visual acuity and tactile dexterity than is humanly possible.
The robotic surgical equipment currently in use is controlled by a surgeon with specialized skills and training. Christina Frangou of General Surgery News reports that many medical experts predict a future where robots will no longer require a surgeon’s hands for guidance, but will independently detect, diagnose, and perform surgery using Artificial Intelligence (AI).
The da Vinci® Surgical System from Intuitive Surgical has advanced since it was first approved by the FDA in 1998. Initially used for minimally invasive gallbladder procedures, the da Vinci was eventually used in bariatric surgeries and hernia repairs as well. The latest generation of the da Vinci is used to perform a range of surgical procedures in several medical specialties including urology, gynecology, spinal surgery, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), among others.
New robotic equipment is being developed and the future of robotics looks bright as the surgical technology advances and as more patients learn about its advantages over traditional open surgery. While robotics has its detractors, in the hands of a highly skilled and experienced surgeon, this surgical innovation can deliver significant benefits to patients.
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Source: “An Eye on Surgical Robots: Once Hampered by Economics and Applicability, Robots Poised to Reshape Surgery.” By Christina Frangou, General Surgery News, July 2018.
Image Credit: Intuitive Surgical and miVIP Surgery Centers