Minimally invasive surgical procedures have been refined to the point of near-perfection in this day and age, especially in terms of safety and efficacy. With the advent of modern technology and interconnectivity amongst doctors in every corner of the world, mankind has been able to diagnose, treat, and cure many conditions that were once considered a death sentence. From the ability to remove dangerous tumours and malignant growths to the rise of safe gastric bypass operations and personalised musculoskeletal treatment plans, our recent medical advances have reinforced the healthcare landscape with streamlined accessibility, heightened safety, and increased effectiveness. However, as surgical procedures have turned into a multi-trillion dollar industry worldwide, it’s important for us as patients to keep up with the times in terms of medical advances, new technology, and modernised procedural protocols.
Regardless of whether you’re interested in an elective procedure or one that caters to an emergency need, this article will help you understand the benefits of robotic surgery in the modern age.
How Does Robotic Surgery Work?
Modern robotic surgery revolves around the concept of laparoscopy, which refers to a surgical procedure that involves creating a small incision to allow a tiny fibre-optic camera to enter the abdominal cavity. More specifically, robotic surgery allows surgeons to perform extremely intricate procedures with the aid of an advanced automaton machine. The robotic system is self-powered and intuitively controlled through a dynamic computer interface:
- Console: The head surgeon facilitates the entire procedure by interacting with a computer console in the operating room, which gives the surgeon full control over every miniaturised implement, robotic arm, and incision tool.
- Camera: The surgeon will spend most of his or her time manipulating a 3D camera attached to one of the robotic arms. The small-scale camera provides a magnified visual depiction of the surgical site, which reinforces the exactness and precision of each manoeuvre.
- Robotic Arms: As the surgeon handles the delicate joysticks, his or her full range of motion is transmitted from the central console to the robotic arms. The robotic implements mimic the exact finger, wrist, and hand movements of the surgeon, which allows for maximum remote control and superior exactitude.
- Supervisory Support: Although the head surgeon performs all of the specific tasks directly from the computer console, it’s important to note that a surgical supervisory team will be sitting by the patient’s bedside, effectively providing real-time support during the entire procedure.
Benefits of Robotic Surgery
When compared to traditional open surgery, which is performed manually, robotic procedures tend to be simpler and more effective:
- Smaller Incisions: Keyhole incisions tend to heal with much smaller and more aesthetically appealing scars, which reduces pain, discomfort, and hospitalisation times.
- Greater Precision: From standard laparoscopic surgeries to the more advanced needle-scopic (pinhole) procedures, the da Vinci four-arm surgical robot allows doctors to access hard-to-reach organs such as the pancreas, oesophagus, and thyroid gland with ease.
- Superior Results: With enhanced dexterity and greater visualisation, surgeons are able to reduce blood loss, mitigate the need for transfusions, and decrease the chances of an infection during the procedure.