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What is Robotic Surgery? What are its Types and Benefits?

01 September 2014

Advances in technology have made for major breakthrough in the healthcare field, such as the rise of robotic surgeries. These surgeries area conducted by means of surgical tools that are attached onto an ergonomically designed robotic arm, which performs the surgery based on the surgeon's instruction. The surgeon is able to control the movements of the robotic arm by sending out instructions through a console that is linked to the robotic arm. It allows him/her to maneuver the robotic arm, giving a 360 degree freedom of movement and precision.

Despite robotic equipment being a relatively rare system, more and more medical institutions are beginning to incorporate them into their line of cutting-edge equipment. However, not all hospitals are willing to invest in an expensive piece of technology like robotic systems, and the ones which do so manage to get back their returns from expensive robotic surgeries. Many patients who have to undergo robotic surgeries are looking at alternative options such as Singapore, Brazil, Greece, India, Thailand, South Korea and Malaysia for affordable medical procedures, as they also give them an opportunity to have a relaxing exotic holiday through the course.

Types of robotic surgery system

    • Supervisory-controlled systems: In these procedures, the robot carries out the surgery by itself, guided by the instructions that are fed into a program before the surgery. While the robot solely carries out the operation, the surgeon still oversees it. It edges toward the expensive side of the price scale as individual programs need to be configured for each surgery, and the corresponding data and images too need to be gathered.

    • Shared-control systems: With these procedures, the surgeon performs the surgery with the assistance of the robotic arm. The robotic arm performs steady micro-accurate movements, while making it easy for the surgeon to maneuver the tools with the robotic arms.

    • Telesurgical systems: With these surgeries the surgeon utilizes image data sent in by the robot to perform the surgery from a remote location through the robotic arm. The surgeon receives real-time feedback in the form of surgical images from the robot sensor. He/she then analyzes it to accordingly direct the robotic arms to carry out the surgery.

Common robotic surgeries

Robotic surgeries have been used to perform various medical procedures such as:

    • Gall-bladder removal
    • Coronary artery cardiac bypass surgery
    • Repair of mitral valve
    • Tubal ligation
    • Hip replacement surgery
    • Knee replacement surgery
    • Kidney transplant
    • Kidney removal
    • Urologic surgery
    • Hysterectomy
    • Radical Prostatectomy
    • Pyloroplasty

Benefits of robotic surgery

Here are some reasons why robotic surgeries are being considered to be better than traditional surgeries:

    • The incisions are shorter and smaller as opposed to the long incisions made during a traditional surgery
    • They give the surgeon better control and flexibility while maneuvering the surgical equipment to perform complex movements easily and precisely
    • There is lesser loss of blood and surgery associated trauma in the patient
    • Doctors can perform surgeries from other locations by manipulating the robotic arms effortlessly through a telesurgery
    • Can reduce the requirement for multiple individuals in the operating room, thereby bringing down the healthcare costs and expenses
    • Can reduce the surgeon's fatigue in procedures that take up several hours, as the robotic assistants easily handle a major part of the surgery
    • They minimize errors made by the surgeon while maneuvering, due to fatigue or otherwise ensuring precision through the course of the surgery
    • They reduce patient's downtime or recovery period by a considerable amount due to smaller scars and lesser blood loss during the surgery

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