A Look Into The Fascinating World Of Robotic SurgeryFebruary 12, 2014
Robotic surgery is a highly advanced technological development that involves using robotic systems to perform surgical procedures. Also called robotically-assisted surgery, this is a very precise surgical technique that is performed using very small tools that are attached to a robotic arm. The surgeon uses a computer to control the robotic arm. Robotic surgery was developed to overcome the prevailing limitations of minimally-invasive procedures and to give surgeons performing open surgery additional capabilities that would otherwise not be possible.
How it works
Robotic surgery is dramatically different from traditional surgery. Two of the most significant differences are that the surgeon performs the robotic-assisted procedure while looking into a special computer screen instead of looking at the patient and the instruments are controlled using a telemanipulator or remote manipulator instead of being directly controlled by the surgeon.
There are several tiny, highly specialized surgical tools attached to the robot’s arms. During a robotic surgery procedure, the surgeon directs the movements of the robot and the attached tools while sitting at a computer station. The small cut is first made at the site of the surgery through which an endoscope is inserted into the body. The endoscope is a thin tube with a camera attached at the end that is inserted into the body. The camera acts as the surgeon’s eyes inside the body and sends out magnified 3-dimensional images of organ to be operated on. The magnified views allow the surgeon to get a better look at the site to be operated upon. To perform the procedure, the robot matches the surgeon’s hand movements, using its smaller precision devices.
Advantages of robotic assisted surgery
Robotic surgery can be performed through smaller cuts as compared to open surgery. That along with the smaller, more precise movements that are possible with this technique give it several advantages over more conventional endoscopic techniques.
- The surgeon can perform procedures through smaller cuts that once could only be done with open surgery.
- Once the robotic arm is placed in the body, it is easier for the surgeon to use the surgical tools as compared to doing laparoscopic surgery through an endoscope.
- It is easier for the surgeon to see the area where the surgery is being performed.
- The surgeon can also move more comfortably while performing the procedure.
- Certain actions can be done by the precision tools with much smoother, feedback-controlled movements than could be achieved by a human hand.
- For the patient, smaller incisions mean less blood loss and speedier recovery times.
Robotic surgery is being used for several different minimal invasive surgical procedures, including:
- Coronary artery bypass
- Tubal ligation
- Hip replacement
- Kidney transplant and kidney removal
- Gallbladder removal
- Mitral valve repair
- Radical prostatectomy
- Cutting away cancer tissue from very sensitive body parts such as nerves, blood vessels and body organs
Limitations of robotic surgery
Robotic-assisted surgery cannot be used for some highly complex procedures. Also, it can take longer to perform mainly because of the amount of time needed to set up the robot for that particular procedure.