`` Not Your Grandmother 's Robotic Surgery `` Essay

`` Not Your Grandmother 's Robotic Surgery `` Essay

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In episode 4, “Not Your Grandmother’s Robotic Surgery”, James’ third grade teacher, Mrs. Gardner, comes in with a torn meniscus. During an MRI, it is shown that Mrs. Gardner has a cystic mass on her bone, which turns out to be stage 4 renal cell carcinoma, which metastasized to her lungs, liver, and brain. Due to how advanced the cancer was, chemotherapy and radiation were not options. James’, inspired by spiders, wanted to create a robot which would remove the tumors from all four sites at once. After testing the robot on the mannequin, and experiencing difficulties, they decide that the robot needs to operate on an X, Y, and Z axis, and not be positioned as if humans were performing the surgery. The robot was designed to operate with five laparoscopic ports to simultaneously access her liver and kidney, three ports to operate on her lung, and one port to remove the tumor from her brain. While Mrs. Gardner is in surgery, the staff had to stop the cranial unit of the robot from continuing, as it had decided to remove the tumor by going through Mrs. Gardner’s ventromedial prefrontal cortex, which would have changed her compassionate personality. Dr. Wallace removed the brain tumor with an endonasal approach, and was successful.
The first documented use of robots in surgery was in 1985, when the PUMA 560 robotic surgical arm was used in a very delicate neurosurgical biopsy. Using robotic systems allows for greater precision, especially while using flexible fiber optic cameras in laparoscopies. The first surgery using robotics was a cholecystectomy in 1987. The first system to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration was the AESOP system, created by Computer Motion, in 1990 for its endoscopic surgical procedure. The da Vinci ...


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Robotic surgery was once believed to be impossible, but is now changing lives. Some patients prefer to go the traditional route, while other patients are insistent on robotic surgery due to some of the benefits, like less scarring. The amount of growth that the field has experienced is astounding. Things like long-distance operations could help save lives all over the world. Though there may be more risks when using a robot, like a glitch, for some families it may be the best option. Hospital stays are expensive, and if robotic surgery gives a chance of less hospital time, it is a route that many people may take to avoid the extra costs. If the system could be perfected, I believe that unless the operation was extremely complex, we could almost completely do away with traditional surgery methods in favor of the possibly less-risky robotic surgery option.

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