Over the past decade, surgical techniques have vastly improved for physicians in the operating theater and their patients. A lot of this improvement relates to the utilization of advanced technology in the surgical room.
One of the most interesting and effective advances in medicine has been robotic-assisted surgery, which has become a factor in various surgical services, including gynecology, urology, bariatrics, thoracic, and general surgery. Robots can assist the surgeons in a variety of ways, from relieving physical stress to minimizing the doctors’ exposure to X-rays, according to The New York Times.
A surgical example
When a patient undergoes traditional heart surgery, the heart is stopped and chest bone sawed and pulled apart so healthy arteries and veins can be harvested. The procedure is as invasive and violent as it sounds. A 12-inch scar can be the result.
In contrast, the robotic procedure allows patients to remain unencumbered by the heart and lung machine, as well as not having to have their heart stopped. Surgeons make three cuts: one for a 3D camera, two for the robot’s arms. Then the surgeon uses master controls that operate like forceps and respond to his or her input in real time. Patients are able to leave the hospital as soon as 24 hours after the surgery.
Here are three substantial patient benefits from this approach.
1. Less damage to the patient’s body
Due the minimally invasive treatment and the smaller size of the robots, patients experience less physical wear and tear. Smaller incisions are made during surgical procedures, and smaller scars result from those incisions.
2. Patients’ healing time is shortened
Along with less time for the surgical procedure itself, the patient’s time recovering in the hospital is shortened, as well.
3. Surgical results may be better than with a human surgeon alone
Robotic-assisted surgery allows for greater precision, dexterity, and control when surgeons labor over delicate and complicated human tissues and organs.
Physicians see the robots as another tool, not that different from a scalpel. The small size and the precision of the robots enables doctors to see which nerves to leave intact when completing a surgery, such as removing a tumor.
Patients will largely benefit from these advancements. More and more patients will be candidates for this kind of surgery, so more information should become available online about how such procedures will work for both patients and physicians.