The Role Of Robotics In Medical Surgery

The wonders that technology can do goes beyond the horizons of our thinking. Can we imagine a robot performing a surgery instead of a surgeon? Not really. But, today, this might be possible.

By Dr. Dheeraj Bhojwani

The Role Of Robotics In Medical Surgery

What comes to our minds when we think or talk about advancements in the field of medicine? The invention of a cure for all the different ailments, which, a few years ago was unimaginable. However, today, the latest surgical techniques have brought about revolutionary changes in the healthcare arena.

As technology continues to progress exponentially, Robotics has surely made a strong imprint on numerous spheres, particularly healthcare.

Robotics is:

  • Minimally invasive, and lowers discomfort for the patients
  • Takes surgical precision to an altogether different level
  • Less complicated than conventional surgeries, the size of incisions needed is very small
  • Relatively safe as there is less amount of blood loss and scarring and lowered post-surgical pain
  • Safe and there is hardly any chance of errors due to human hand tremors
  • A process that leads to quick recovery and thus the patients can get back to their routines sooner
  • A technique that facilitates the access the most intricate corners of the body

Healthcare experts and researchers around the globe are recommending the use of Robotics owing to crucial advantages. The usage of this highly progressive usage has gained widespread acceptance as more and more medical specialities are adopting it.

The use of Robotics in the medical field:

In this scenario, the surgeon operates with the help of a special console that doesn’t necessarily have to be placed close to the operating table. There are many guided robotic arms that hold highly specialized and surgical instruments, which are passed via keyhole-sized cuts. A tiny video camera is inserted via another incision, which provides the surgeon magnified 3-D images of the surgical site. These robotic arms can rotate 360-degrees and aid the movement of the instruments with maximum accuracy and flexibility than in other minimally invasive laparoscopic procedures.

The Robotic arms are never moving or performing any part of the surgeries on their own so there is no chance of any errors.

The alternative names for this methodology are Robot-assisted surgery, Robotic-assisted Laparoscopic surgery or Laparoscopic surgery with Robotic-assistance. Some of the many medical specialities that implement this approach are:

  • Cardiology – Coronary Artery Bypass, Mitral Valve Repair
  • Nephrology – Kidney Removal, Kidney Transplant
  • Gynaecology – Tubal Ligation, Hysterectomy, Myomectomy
  • Pulmonology – Lung Resection
  • Gastroenterology – Cholecystectomy, Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
  • Urology – Radical Prostatectomy

Robotics and cancer treatment:

Robotics is the latest addition to the list of cancer cure and is becoming quite prominent. Cancer is one of the most difficult diseases and needs continual upgrades in the treatment methods. Thus, robotics being a highly sophisticated technology can be helpful in this matter. Robotic surgery is very often used to cure cancers affecting the prostate, uterus, colon and other body parts too.

The use of robots in minimally invasive surgeries:

The implementation of robotics has already changed the face of many medical specialities. More specifically, the below-mentioned ones:

Neurological procedures: The anatomical challenges that come with neurosurgeries are huge because these procedures deal with the vital organs. Also, accessing the core areas of the brain can be quite tricky and needs a maximum amount of accuracy. Thus, the dawn of Robotic-assisted approach in this speciality has been a majorly enhanced the capabilities of the experts associated with this field. The robotic technique uses advanced imaging techniques like Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Computerised Tomography (CT) or Positron Emission Tomography (PET) to produce images of the patient's brain to get the exact visual of the site. The surgeons then use this information to plan the course of the surgery.

Orthopaedics: The use of robotics in the field of orthopaedics has gained quick momentum owing to the obvious benefits that it encompasses. Robotics has brought a significant amount of augmentation in surgical planning, meticulous and apt placement of the implants and surely improved patients’ safety, which may not be easily viable otherwise. For example, in partial hip and knee replacements, total knee and hip arthroplasty and many other orthopaedic procedures have shown highly positive outcomes, when done using robotics-assisted technology; especially because of implant positioning is done perfectly.

Laparoscopic procedures: The introduction of robotics has hugely enriched this crucial field of healthcare by bringing down the number of cuts to as minimum as possible and the other crucial benefits as mentioned above. Procedures like Robotic Laparoscopic Hysterectomy, Robotic Laparoscopic Endometriosis, Robotic Laparoscopic Hernia Surgery and many more laparoscopic procedures are done successfully with robotics.

Paediatrics: Owing to the immense success of robotics in other specialities, leading hospitals across the world are implementing this technique in paediatrics as well. This field needs high proficiency obviously because it deals with much younger patients. These patients need a superlative cure with minimum pain and discomfort, and this is what exactly robotics does.

Although we cannot imagine our healthcare system without the proficient human surgical hands it is high time that more and more branches of medicine adopt this extremely modernized technological miracle, which has undeniably been invented to enhance the surgical skills of the medical professionals and boost the success rates.

The author is CEO and MD, Forerunners Healthcare Consultants, India.

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