Is Robotic Surgery the Next Frontier of Invasive Medical Care
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Is Robotic Surgery the Next Frontier of Invasive Medical Care

  • Highlights

  • Robotic systems conducting medical procedures

  • Reduced risks of complications in surgery

  • Greater chances of precision

  • Shortens recovery time for patients as well


Robotic technology has opened quite a few doors for improved cancer treatment, and treatment in various surgical specialties like urology, gynecology, thoracic surgery, general surgery, and even head and neck surgery.
Robotic surgery uses computer technology in association with robotic systems to conduct medical and surgical procedures. In robotic surgery, a surgeon uses a guiding console to conduct the surgeries, making most of these procedures quite non-invasive. This means that most procedures can be done with just a single incision point into the body.

Advantage of Robotic Surgeries

The console used in robotic surgeries generally consists of miniaturised surgical instruments on robotic arms along with a magnified 3D camera. The surgeon manipulates the instruments through finger operated master controls, and the miniaturised tools allow for greater precision in the procedure, with increased control and dexterity of movement.
The camera offers clearer visualisation of the operating field, leading to lesser chances of error and postoperative readmission. What’s more, the surgeon could potentially be anywhere in the world while doing surgery. It isn’t necessary that he be in the same room.

The patients also have some great advantages from robot assisted surgery. Since robotic surgery is non-invasive, the procedure is often less painful, with smaller incisions that leads to a lesser chance of infection, and minimal scarring.
What’s more, the recovery time is also reduced, leading to a reduced hospitalization period as well. What’s more, considering the improved precision, the chances of complications happening also reduces. Moreover, blood loss is also reduced, leading to lesser need for blood transfusions and possibility of infections.

The Cost-Effectiveness of Robotic Surgery

Robotic surgery involves a large initial investment of around USD 1 million to USD 2 million, to purchase and set up the equipment required. Moreover, there will also be an annual maintenance cost of up to approximately USD 250,000. Both of these are not problems in open surgery. Additionally, robotic surgery requires quite a few limited use instruments like shears, needle drivers, forceps, etc., that need to be change every 10 surgeries. This is as opposed to open surgeries, where the instruments can be reused as many times as necessary. Doctor loans available in the market come with various lender friendly features, which make them a great way to procure this initial investment.

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However, reports show that the overall costs for the hospital were greatly reduced with robotics. Moreover, it is sometimes possible for the hospital to get back their initial investment for robotics, after just 90 surgeries being conducted. It is also cost effective for patients, because their recovery time and overall hospital stay is reduced greatly, saving them a lot of money.
Thus, it can be safely said that robotics has great potential in health care, and if used correctly, it can save a lot of lives.

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