February 12, 2014
Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.
Robotic-assisted surgery and computer-assisted surgery or CAS are both very advanced techniques that are used for higher precision in performing surgeries. Their similarities lie primarily in pre-operative planning where surgeons use computer simulation to run practice sessions of the robotic surgery or the CAS before performing the actual procedure. However, their main difference lies in the intra-operative phase of the procedure where robotic surgeries may use a large degree of computer assistance but computer-assisted surgeries do not use robots.
Computer-assisted surgery, also known as 3-D computer surgery, image-guided surgery or surgical navigation encompasses any type of computer-based procedure that uses advanced technologies such as 3D imaging and real-time sensing in planning, executing and the follow-up stage of surgical procedures. CAS allows for improved visualization, improved diagnostic capabilities and more accurate targeting of sites, giving it a significant advantage over conventional techniques.
Robotic surgery involves using an advanced surgical robot. The surgeon may or may not play a direct role during the procedure. The robot is basically a computerized system with a motorized construction or arm that is capable of performing certain tasks with the help of small instruments attached to its arm. One key advantage of robotic surgery over computer-assisted is its higher accuracy and more importantly, its ability to repeat identical movements.
Robotic surgery can be further divided into 3 subcategories depending on the degree of surgeon interaction during the procedure:
Irrespective of which type of robotic surgery is being done, before the procedure is carried out, computer imaging is an essential step for accurate diagnosis and execution.