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Robotic surgery to overcome limitations of tradition methods
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| Words: 2364 | Submitted: 02-May-2011
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DescriptionRobotic surgery in terms of recent development, how it can change the face of surgery.
The use of Robotic surgery to overcome limitations of traditional methods
In the Middle Ages surgery was carried out by barbers because they were familiar with the tools required. Anaesthetics were unheard of and knowledge of infection and bacteria was non existent. There is no doubt that since then surgical techniques have improved enormously, however this isn’t to say that there are no limitations. Minimally invasive approaches such as the use of surgical robots have been introduced to make surgery as efficient as it can be. A common misconception of them are that “they will replace a surgeons role” this is untrue; it just provides a surgeons with an alternative way of doing things.
Problems that robots can solve
Robot assisted surgery can overcome common issues with open surgery. Haemorrhaging for example; in open procedures haemostasis (the control of blood loss) is controlled by the careful application of clamps and ligatures which can be awkward. Endoscopic methods use electrocautery, a surgical technique which involves introducing high frequency current to a specific area of the body in order to remove unwanted tissue and seal off blood vessels (8). Electocautery is considered the cleanest, safest and most efficient way of dealing with blood loss during operations.
The chance of respitory problems that can occur as a result of anaesthetics is also greatly reduced because less anaesthetic is required due to the procedure being ofen shorter and the amount of pain being considerably less. Blood clots are also a common post surgery issue, mainly because of reduced mobility after surgery causing a lack of circulation, minimally invasive surgery shortens recovery time making blood clots a lot less likely.
Robot assisted surgery is the latest development in endoscopic surgery. Endoscopic surgery otherwise known as minimally invasive surgery or key hole surgery is a preferred method. Reasons being; there is reduced scaring due to the smaller incisions made, minimal pain and a shorter recovery time meaning patients can be back to work
in a little as 2 weeks. The table below (9) shows the patient outcomes for hysterectomies for benign gynaecologic conditions. Da Vinci, the surgical robot shows a clear lead in all aspects compared to traditional open surgery and laparoscopy.
Methods and procedures
When surgical robots are used the number of people required in an operating theatre can drop from approximately a dozen to just one surgeon, an anaesthetist and a nurse. A surgeon will sit at a booth, comparable to a video game as you can see in the picture to the right (2) where he can see the footage from a camera inserted to the target area. For laparoscopic surgery which is endoscopic surgery of the abdomen, a human surgeon makes three incisions ...
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