The Evolution Of Surgery
People of all ages have benefited from surgeries for decades. Some of these are life-saving emergency procedures. Others are elective surgeries that can improve the quality of life. Surgeries started as open procedures. These were large cuts several inches long to access the surgical site. Over time, doctors used minimally invasive procedures, which needed smaller incisions. Surgery is deep into the next frontier with robotic-assisted minimally invasive surgery. Robotic-assisted surgery has the unique advantage of significantly improving recovery time.
What is robotic-assisted minimally invasive surgery?
Minimally invasive surgery (MIS) uses small incisions and a special scope to access the surgical area. The scope projects an image on the screen, allowing the surgeon to act with minimal disruption to the body. The technique helps repair tendons, remove growths, and even replace joints. Despite the benefits, minimally invasive surgery requires high accuracy and precision. Robotic-assisted surgery uses technology to increase the accuracy of MIS. A robotic arm, or sometimes multiple components, guides the surgeon’s movements. The device can even map out the surgery in advance using 3-D imaging.
What should you expect in the emergency room?
Robotic-assisted surgery starts before the operation. For instance, the device maps out the new joint specific to the patient in total joint replacement (TJR) cases. The surgery starts with 1 or more buttonhole incisions in the operating room, depending on the surgery. The robotic arm contains the surgical tools to complete the procedure. The surgeon works behind a console, using one or more peripheral devices to control the robotic arms. The arms are often pre-programmed with surgical instructions. This extra step reduces errors, allowing the surgeon to complete the procedure with fantastic accuracy.
Benefits of robots
The robotic device can operate with small incisions and minimal movement. That means patients will have less bleeding, reduced infection, and less pain. Since some procedures are pre-planned, even inexperienced surgeons can comfortably operate. Robotic-assisted surgery is often outpatient, meaning shorter hospital stays and lower readmission rates. Studies show that hospitals adopting robotics use the technology more frequently than traditional MIS. The accuracy and success rate of robotics mean a more significant benefit to patients.
Can it reduce your recovery time?
Traditional endoscopic or laparoscopic surgery has been successful for several years. For instance, studies show that liver and pancreatic procedures had higher success rates with MIS than traditional surgery. So why go robotic? One of the most significant benefits is the reduction in recovery time. The accuracy of robotics using small incisions significantly reduces pain and infections. These techniques also speed up healing, reducing the need for narcotics. Patients are seeing a significant reduction in recovery times. More than 90% of total joint replacement patients had more flexibility and movement the same day.
More robots, less downtime
More hospitals are adopting robotic-assisted surgeries. Robotic surgeries are happening for joint replacements, spinal conditions, and even cancers. Outpatient centers across the country are adopting robotic-assisted surgery to improve patient recovery. As the technology evolves, so will the ability to perform safer, more successful surgeries. If an elective procedure is in the pipeline, a surgeon can discuss if robotic surgery is a viable option.