Robotic-Assisted Surgery

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Robots are ubiquitous today. Robotics in medicine is a fairly new, yet advancing field. It is growing in popularity in the field of surgery as it allows for exceptional and precise control of surgical devices in minimally invasive procedures. Robotic-Assisted Surgery (RAS) is an advanced form of laparoscopic surgery, a type of surgery in which the surgeon operates through small incisions instead of through large incisions in the operating region (). RAS is designed to overcome the limitations of laparoscopic surgery and to enhance the performance of surgeons performing minimally invasive surgery. In general, a robotic operating system comprises of three components: the surgeon’s console, a patient-side robotic cart with multiple arms, and a high-definition 3-D vision system. Surgical instruments capable of cutting, dissecting, and suturing are mounted on the robotic arms which are introduced into the body through incisions. In contrast with conventional surgery, the doctors do not touch these instruments directly. In using the da Vinci robot surgery system, a surgeon makes three or four incisions that are no longer than the diameter of a pencil in the patient’s body, which allows the surgeon to insert three or four stainless-steel rods (). Sitting at a control console a few feet from the operating table, the surgeon uses a viewfinder to inspect the 3-D images sent by the camera inside the patient. The images show the target site and the three or four surgical instruments mounted on the tips of the surgical rods. The surgeon uses the joystick-like controls located on the console to manipulate the surgical instruments. Today numerous surgical robots have been adopted by operating rooms all over the world and are now being used for a... ... middle of paper ... Little is known about how these patients are recovering compared to how patients operated on by traditional methods are recovering. There are increasing reports that robotic systems are damaging patients. In July of 2013, the FDA issued a warning letter to Intuitive Surgical after an inspection discovered that the company had not adequately reported some adverse patient events. Perhaps most important of all is the area of haptic feedback systems. The lack of force and tactile feedback is a limiting factor on the improved accuracy and dexterity the system provides the surgeon. Under certain circumstances, particularly with the manipulation of delicate medical materials and bodily tissues, surgeons are unable to apply consistent and precise force because the robotic operating systems cannot sense and display spatially distributed tactile information ().
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