Health

Things You Need to Know about Robotic Surgery

Medical science has benefited immensely from technological innovations. One of the most significant examples of technology in medicine is the use of robotic surgery. Robotic surgery assists doctors in complex surgical procedures. It helps them complete the process with more accuracy, precision, flexibility, and control, which is usually a challenge with conventional techniques. It is primarily used in minimally invasive surgical techniques, small incisions, and traditional open surgical procedures. Many hospitals have embraced it in the United States and Europe. Robotic surgery includes a camera and mechanical arms with surgical instruments attached to them. The control of the arm is in the surgeon’s hands. It provides the surgeon with a high-definition 3D view of the surgical site, which helps him lead other team members. Currently, it gets carried out with the help of the da Vinci robotic surgery method, which includes specialized arms, a camera, a magnified screen, and a console.

How does it work?

 The surgeon makes small incisions in the body and inserts miniature instruments and a 3D Camera. The robotic surgical system allows the surgeon to produce precise, delicate motions while controlling the machine. The robotic system does not manouvre on its own. Instead, the surgeon’s instructions are acted upon by the system with greater precision than human hands. Please remember that the surgeon is in the operating room controlling the procedure the whole time.

  • Indications for robotic surgery:
  • Colorectal surgery
  • General surgery
  • Gynecological surgery
  • Heart surgery
  • Endometriosis
  • Head and neck(Transoral)surgery
  • Thoracic surgery
  • Urologic surgery

Advantages:

  • Precision: Can be used for conducting sub-millimeter precision operations. Human eyes have limitations, which might hamper the procedure.
  • Flexibility.
  • It has a highly magnified, high-resolution image of the operating field.
  • It offers better control and access to the operating field area.
  • Surgeons can perform delicate and complex procedures that might be difficult or impossible with the other methods.
  • Fewer complications like surgical infections.
  • It will have decreased intensity of pain and blood loss and required fewer blood transfusions.
  • Faster recovery.
  • Smaller scars.
  • Excellent range of motion and agility for the surgeon.
  • Shorter hospital stays for the patients.
  • Faster return to the daily routine.
  • Faster diagnosis.
  • Faster decision-making. Negates fatigue in the surgical team. 
  • It is excellent for infectious disease treatment as they can neither acquire nor transfer the disease.
  • It provides steady hands and precise actions. Better sterilization due to minimal human touch.
  • Allows the surgeon to be more focused so that they can undertake more complex procedures that otherwise might not have been possible.
  • It eliminates the need to navigate surgical instruments manually and offers enhanced visual images that help the surgeon.

Disadvantages:

  • Robotic surgery is expensive and available in only those hospitals that can afford that technology and specially trained surgeons to operate the system.
  • If there are complications, the doctors might revert to traditional surgery; this includes scar tissue from previous surgeries, which complicates the robotic surgery process.
  • Nerve damage risk is associated with conventional methods, too; however, robotic surgery does not wholly eliminate the possibility.
  • Nerve compression risk is associated with conventional methods, too; however, robotic surgery does not eliminate the possibility.
  • Robotic malfunction, though extremely rare, is still a possibility.
  • People also believe that since robots are precise, there won’t be any complications; however, they are unaware that the surgeon performs the procedure with machine control. Hence, it cannot eliminate the possibility of complications.
  • People believe that the conventional method is better as the surgeon directly views the surgical site.
  • Since the equipment is expensive, it increases the treatment costs, thus raising the issue of general affordability. Training the medical staff is another barrier to robotic surgery.
  • There can be medico-legal issues; In case of complications, apportioning responsibility can be a grey area. 
  • There may be resistance from certain sections as to the reliability of the equipment and some may not be comfortable undergoing surgery without a tangible human interface. 
  • Since robots depend on inputs to function, complications may arise in case of any flaws in communicating instructions from the surgical team. 
  • Risk of both human and mechanical error.
  • It might take longer to perform the robotic surgery if the team does not have the necessary expertise to handle the sophisticated equipment. 
  • The size of the operating room needs to be optimized to accommodate the robotic system and the accompanying surgical team. 
  • Few robotic systems might require fastening them to the patient, leading to increased blood loss or infection.

Conclusion:

Robotic surgery is a perfect example of an interface between high-end technology and expert surgical teams. However, a specially trained surgical team is required to deliver optimal outcomes with the system. It covers a wide area of surgery that will increase the accuracy and improve outcomes of surgeries.  Keeping in mind the immense possibilities, the medical fraternity needs to gear up and embrace this new technology.

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