Robotic surgeries represent a significant and growing portion of all surgeries performed. Globally, procedures performed with a robotic surgery machine accounted for $5.32 billion of billed procedures. The advanced surgical treatment can be used to remove gallbladders and tumors or to aid in joint replacement procedures.
Despite widespread use in the United States, many robotic surgery myths persist. Below, we’ll explore some common misconceptions about what is robotic surgery.
Myth #1: Robots Perform the Surgery
The phrase “robotic surgery” can be a bit misleading. At no point does the robot perform the surgery. The advanced medical technology does not act independently from the surgeon.
The robot is simply a surgical tool. The advanced medical device does not move unless the surgeon moves. In other words, the robot is an extension of the surgeon and not a replacement.
In other areas of robotic technology, we are seeing automation. Self-driving cars are one example. But this has no relation to robotic surgery, so you shouldn’t worry about robots performing surgery anytime soon.
Myth #2: Robotic Surgeries Are Prone to Computer Error
Are you still wondering, “Is robotic surgery safe?” One area where people worry relates to malfunctions. In everyday life, machines and robots malfunction. Some people believe that this means that a medical robot can similarly malfunction.
Technicians build the medical devices to very high standards. Doctors check and double-check the robots before they are used in surgery. There have built-in safety features that offer further levels of protection.
The first robotic surgery was performed in 1985. The procedure has an incredibly long track record of being safe and reliable.
Myth #3: Any Doctor Can Perform Robotic Surgery
Not just any doctor can perform surgery using a robot. If you are having a gallbladder removed using robotic-assisted surgery, that surgeon has to undergo extensive and rigorous training on how to use the robotic device that will be used during your surgery.
The skillsets required to perform robotic-assisted surgery are unique. They are different than what is required for traditional surgery or even laparoscopic procedures.
Robotic surgery is a specialty. You can expect your surgeon to have extensive experience using the advanced robotic device that assists with your procedure.
Myth #4: Robotic Surgery Is Unproven
The use of robot-assisted surgery increased from 1.8% in 2012 to 15.1% in 2018, according to JAMA Network. That eight-fold increase was due to the reliability and effectiveness of robotic surgery.
Robotic surgery can no longer be described as unproven because it is now a standard surgical technique that is used in a very wide range of procedures.
Myth #5: Robotic Surgery Can’t Help Me
With decades of use in the medical field, robotic surgery is regularly used for a wide range of procedures. Biopsy, hernia repair, heart surgery, and brain surgery are just a few of the procedures that use the surgical technique. Before you assume that robotic surgery can’t help you, speak to a trusted specialist or your primary care physician to find out about the truth.
The Truth About Robotic Surgery
Now that we’ve debunked some myths and misconceptions about robotic surgery, let’s explore what is robotic surgery.
Let’s say that you are undergoing colon repair. With traditional surgery, a surgeon would make an incision that is large enough to fit both his or her hands inside your body.
Miniaturized Surgical Instruments
Robotic surgery works differently. The surgeon works nearby the patients. Instead of working directly with scalpels and other tools, the surgeon operates a robotic system that makes tiny incisions in your body.
Miniaturized instruments and a high-definition camera are inserted into the small incision. The surgeon looks at a nearby screen to see what the robot instruments are near.
Incredible Precision and Control
Using special buttons and handheld devices, the surgeon remotely guides the robotic tools as needed to complete the surgical procedure. The master controls are incredibly sensitive and allow the surgeon to make precise and accurate movements.
In fact, surgeons find that their level of precision actually increases. Robotic tools are not prone to involuntary micromovements that human hands are susceptible to.
The surgeon remains in complete control throughout the surgery. If the surgeon’s hand stops, the robot stop. Now that we’ve reviewed some robotic surgery facts, let’s look at the benefits of this procedure.
Benefits of Robot-Assisted Surgery
One of the main benefits of robot-assisted surgery is the reduced need for large incisions and other invasive steps. Small incisions mean reduced loss of blood and a faster recovery. Patients can benefit from lower levels of complications associated with the procedure.
Patients can also expect better outcomes following the procedure. Robotic surgery affords surgeons a greater range of motion and dexterity. The surgeon can see a high-resolution and highly magnified image of the operating field during the procedure.
Patients can benefit from lower levels of discomfort following treatment. Post-surgery discomfort is often related to the size of the incision and the level of invasiveness of the surgery. Robot-assisted surgery relies on small incisions that are often smaller than the incisions required for laparoscopic surgery.
Learn More About Robotic Surgeries
Robotic surgeries are safe and incredibly effective. Are you seeking less invasive alternatives for colon repair or gallbladder removal? You can expect a faster recovery and minimal scarring when your surgeon uses robot-assisted surgery.
SURGCO is a world-class team that can help you meet your robotic-assisted surgery needs. We offer the best care possible before, during, and after your treatment. Reach out to Dr. Valentine and our team today to schedule your appointment.