Robotic surgery is no longer the stuff of science fiction. It is becoming more and more common for surgeons to make use of robotics in their work.

What You Didn’t KNow about Robots in Medicine

What do we actually know about this technology? Here are some key facts about robotic surgery.

How Does it Work?

With traditional surgery, the surgeon makes an incision that is suitable for access to the organs or tissues in question. With robotic surgery, the surgeon makes several small incisions and places ports, which allow for the passage of instruments and cameras, much as is done in laparoscopic surgery. It differs from laparoscopic surgery, however, in that these instruments and camera are mounted on robotic arms that can be controlled by the surgeon using a remote console.

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Robotic Surgery is Minimally Invasive

Surgery that is performed with a robotic arm has the advantage of being minimally invasive. Conventional surgery requires larger incisions and therefore more trauma, more bleeding and longer recovery time for the patient. With robotic surgery, the incisions are extremely small. The instruments attached to the robotic arms are capable of operating with incredible precision, in very confined spaces. Small delicate operations, such as those involving the prostate, gall bladder, hernias, cardiothoracic work and gynaecological problems among others.

Robotic Surgery Allows for Extreme Precision

A robot provides extreme precision, as well as greater degrees of freedom and excellent visualisation. This means that more complex procedures can be carried out by surgeons.

Robotic Surgery is Not as Automated as You May Think

When we hear the word “robot”, we often think of full automation – machines thinking for themselves with minimal human intervention. This is not the case with robotic surgery. The surgeon is always in the room, at the control console, which is positioned near to the patient. There are also assistants at the bedside, as well as the anesthesiologist and nurses. The procedure is not pre-programmed into the machine. The surgeon directly controls the movement of the robotic arms and instruments. Basically, every movement the surgeon makes with his or her hands is simultaneously carried out by the robotic arms.

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Robotic Surgery Carries Risks

The risks involved with robotic surgery are really no different from those of any other type of surgery. Robotic surgery is not always the best option, sometimes a case cannot be completed with a robot and may need an open incision.

Robotic Surgery Provides Better Patient Experience

One major benefit of robotic surgery is that it results in less postoperative pain and quicker recovery for the patient. Overall, there is less trauma involved in robotic surgery because the incisions are much smaller and the movements of the robot are much more precise.

Chat to Glenmed to Find Out More about Robotic Innovations

Glenmed is a supplier of leading medical equipment brands to practitioners and health care facilities in South Africa. Contact us for more information.

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