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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Robotic Surgery: The Holy Grail?

I feel good to see the advancement of robotic surgery in the milieu of surgical sciences worldwide. A lot of competent surgeons have been doing robotic surgery in India with good results, and the future seems even brighter. This is akin to the era when open surgery was replaced by minimal invasive surgery (for the cases that could have been managed by this mode), also known as laparoscopic surgery; I have belonged to that epoch and I can well understand the gusto associated with learning a new technique that has a potential to rewrite the rules. Robotic surgery, in coming times, would be making patients’ lives a lot easier, as it offers a lot of distinct advantages when compared with traditional forms.

As robotic surgery depends on efficient use of computer console, required to let the robot perform operating steps, the day is not far away when doctors would be operating upon patients sitting on the other side of the globe. This would enhance doctor’s reach and physical barriers to the optimum treatment would take a back seat.

Robotic surgery offers enhanced surgical precision and reduced operative trauma. This also means lesser healing time, lesser pain and improved surgical outcomes. This is especially useful in patients who are having several associated morbidites that bear the potential to affect the prognosis adversely.

Robotic surgery would reduce the presence of persons in the operation theatre, and that would considerably reduce chances of transmittable infections from the hospital staff to the patient.

Robotic surgery decreases doctor’s fatigue that is caused by prolonged hours of standing in conventional surgeries. Fatigue induced tremors of hands can result in occasional glitch, whereas there are no such issues when a surgical robot is on the mission. The programming of such systems is in a way that even if a doctor’s hand flickers, the robotic system identifies it, and ignores it to complete the surgery in the most stable way.

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