What Is Robotic Surgery? Know Its Advantages & Disadvantages!

Da Vinci Mona Lisa, the most beautiful painting from Leonardo Da Vinci is what one of the best astonishing things the world has received from a real amazing man. Leonardo Da Vinci has not only rocked the world of art, but also revolutionized the world of science by studying anatomy and inventing the finest invention in engineering science, i.e. the Robot. And to any strange belief, these Da Vinci invented robots have begun finding their use in medical science as one of the magical equipment for the modern form of laparoscopic surgery. So, here we are with the Robotic surgery, or the robot assisted surgery. Robotic surgical equipment is known as da Vinci Surgical equipment.

 Robotic Surgery

The current article will disclose the whole means by which surgeons performs the robotic surgery, it will also explain about all the major safe measures as well as the risk factors involved with this kind of robot assisted surgery.

Robotic Surgery: Introduction to the Contemporary Surgical Procedure

Robotic surgery involves minor surgical procedure; the remote surgery is controlled by surgeon located at remote or faraway place. The robotic surgery is safest way of undergoing surgery. The robotic arms are controlled with a computer by the surgeon, while observing all vital organs around the operating tissue on live big screen. The object is modified and gives better view of operating field than looking at the tissue between instruments. The exclusively beneficial features available in Robot assisted surgery make it a real hot topic to be in the flying news in the world of Surgical Medical Science.

Robotic surgery is performed by a real computerized robot. Robotic mechanical arms are used like human hands and fingers. The movement of robotic arms are controlled by computer and directed by surgeon. Mechanical robotic arms are used to perform the most integrate form of surgery in the very intimate body tissues. Surgery is minimal invasive procedure and recovery is quick. Robotic surgery is safe and results are excellent when an experienced surgeon performs surgery.

The da Vinci Robotic System is researched and tried in lab for several years. Several top quality universities had participated in human surgery under supervision of best renowned surgeon. Equipments are now used to perform surgeries on vital organs and deeper tissue. Actually tiny fine instruments that are attached to the mechanical robotic arms are used to perform complicated vascular surgeries. Movements of robotic arms are controlled by the computer system. Surgeon can observe the 3D image 10 times larger on television screen while controlling the movements of the robotic arms. The nerves and blood vessels are magnified and chances of accidental injury while performing surgery are negligible. Surgeon performs the surgery watching at the 10 times magnified colored 3D images of internal body tissues or the deepest body part the surgery is to be performed. The robots, which are used here, are actually programmed with protectors, which help in safeguarding the patients from the surgical complications.

Now coming to the pros and cons of this modern surgical process; it can be said that such a robot based surgical procedure obviously do have some real great beneficial features and safe concerns which has made it to be in the market for more than a decade and with some proven success. But again there are also some hot discussions on the risk factors involved with Robotic surgery. "Not every you and me would put our lives in the hands of a robot! But it is obvious some of us would believe in robots more than humans!" All depends on the pros and cons of the surgical process.

Various Areas Where Robotic Surgery Has Found Its Applications:

There are a lot of fields in medical science where Robotic surgery is being used for treating various diseases and disorders. Some of the most crucial applications of such a Robot-assisted surgery include the following.

  • Cardiological Surgery: Robotic surgery has found its utility in treating various cardiological problems including arrhythmia, atrial fibrillation etc. The ablation procedure or the ablation therapy makes use of Robots in the treatment procedures. However in general, there are three types of heart surgery where robot assisted equipments have their applications. These three surgical procedures include repair of Atrial Septal Defect, Coronary Artery Bypass and the Mitral Valve Repair.
  • Neurological Surgery: The first robot to be used in Neurosurgery was NeuroMate. There are a lot of patients undergoing stereotactic brain surgery via robot assisted tools and have been successfully treated.
  • Orthopedics and Robotic Surgery: There is a kind of robot, called " Acrobot Sculpture" which is used as a tool for cutting bone to a predefined size and shape. This kind of robot along with CASPAR robot is used in orthopedic surgery and has been successfully treated many conditions like Reconstruction of Anterior Cruciate Ligament, Total Hip Replacement, Total Knee Replacement etc.
  • Gynecology and Robotic Surgery: Robotic surgery has found its greater success rate in terms of Gynecological surgical treatments. Such an advanced form of surgery assisted by robotic arms, has been found to be useful in treating fibroids, abnormal or irregular periods, female cancers, treating ovarian tumors etc.
  • Applications in Pediatrics: Use of robot has been seen in a lot of pediatric surgeries including Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Repair, Cholecystectomy, Tracheoesophagial Fistula Repair, Kasai Portoenterostomy etc.
  • Applications in Organ Transplantation: Robotic surgery has been with its greatest advancements and finest benefits in Kidney transplantation. The first completely robot assisted organ transplantation was performed successfully during the year 2000s when a successful Kidney transplantation occurred via Robotic surgery.

There are about 450,000 surgeries performed in the year 2013 using this robot assisted system. We will be discussing about some of the advantages and disadvantages of the Robot assisted surgery.

Advantages of Robotic Surgery:

  • Minimal body invasion, as the tiny instruments attached to the robotic arms in the surgical equipment enters the deepest body tissues or the internal most portion of the body with just small incisions.
  • Less percentage of blood loss, lower risk of pain and quick recovery achieved from robotic surgery.
  • There is also no risk of growing big scars after the surgery. This is what is the best cosmetic benefit coming from the robotic surgery.
  • The surgeons are benefited from the surgery, as it reduces the distress and they need not have to bend a lot to perform the surgery on the operation table, as here in this case they can be in front of the magnified screen with 3D images of the internal body portions where the surgery needs to be performed.
  • A number of surgical successes have been seen through the robotic surgery in the treatment of Prostate cancer, removal of Gall bladder and heart valve operations.

Disadvantages of Robotic Surgery:

It has been reported that there has been about 50 cases in every 100,000 robotic surgeries that the patients are injured and few met with death while the surgery in the year 2013; as compared to the 13.4 of 100,000 cases during the year of 2004.

Now Let Us Put Limelight On The List Of Few Disadvantages Or Risk Factors Involved With This Robot Assisted Surgery:

  • The health issues involved with such surgical treatments include patient injury and harm to life or death during the procedure. Last year it was reported that about 282 patients were injured and about 28 patients were reported dead during the robotic surgery. The complications are also influenced by patient's health and disease treated by robotic surgery.
  • The arms of Robots used for performing robotic surgery, are made up of tough plastics. It has been noted that tear in this plastic tip causes electrical arching which often causes severe injury in patients during surgery.

Should One Opt For Robotic Surgery? Yes Or No

There is always a belief, "Every new talent has met with a lot of applauses and a lot of criticism." Similarly, "Every new discovery has its own Pros and Cons." The advantages of robotic surgery are far more beneficial than its disadvantages. Robotic surgery is a safe, since method of treatment is established with least rate of complications. Robotic surgery has advanced with improved skills by computer engineers and physicians. The recent studies suggest complication rates are far less than expected, since teaching has exponentially improved. Last 10 years has seen a tremendous expansion of robotic treatment because of increased number of cases treated by robotic surgery, large number of equipment available for surgery and number of increased training program. Future robotic surgeons are already experienced in robotic surgical procedure during fellowship training before even establishing their practice. Now, it is all up to your sole decision, if you want to accept this as your ultimate surgical procedure or want to ignore it for all the disadvantages involved with it.

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: July 6, 2016

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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