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Doctor Thierry Guetta, a urologist in Paris
Robotic surgery
Robotic surgery
  • Robotic surgery
  • Benefits for the patient
 
Why use a robot for surgery? 
 
Since the turn of the millennium, the use of a surgical robot as the surgeon's assistant, has become established as an essential development in minimally invasive surgery.

This robot, known under the trade name of "Da Vinci", the most advanced robotic system, has been constantly improved to optimize the surgeon's skill and dexterity

 During the surgery, the robot is placed above the patient while the surgeon operates remotely, controlling its four articulated arms by means of a console located in the same operating room.
The robot perfectly conveys every movement of the surgeon's hands from the console into the arms, which are equipped with miniaturized, jointed surgical instruments.
A high-definition dual-lens camera placed in one of the 4 arms provides the surgeon with 3D perception while maneuvering.

The use of a robot requires advanced training for surgical teams as a whole, including surgeons, as well as OR nurses, anesthesiologists and bedside nurses.
Such minimally invasive surgery can be implemented in many specialties such as gynecology, cardiology, HEENT, digestive and bariatric surgery, thoracic surgery and urology.
Urologists, accordingly, use this robot to perform all types of surgical procedures: prostatic extirpations, pyeloplasties, cystectomies, partial or total nephrectomies.

This technological revolution has become standard in the USA and is more and more widely used in France, notwithstanding the consistently high costs of owning, operating and maintaining the device.

 
What are the advantages of robotic surgery?
  • Less invasive surgery: this technique reduces the size of the openings or utilizes natural orifices to access and treat a pathology.
  • Improved dexterity: the robot enhances the precision of the surgeon's movements, eliminates tremor, and provides unparalleled control in the accomplishment of the surgical procedure.
  • Ergonomic position: The surgeon sits facing the console directly.
  • 3D magnified vision: The robot provides a perfect view of the surgical site, thanks to cameras which produce a clear, more detailed, magnified, and highly stable 3D image. The surgeon can easily zoom in on the most delicate areas and shift the view of the surgical site as needed.
  • One remarkable feature of robotic surgery is the effector which replicates the surgeon's movements, while reducing their scale.  When the surgeon carries out a movement covering 10cm, for instance, the robotic effector moves only 1cm.
Benefits for the patient
Accomplishes highly complex procedures
Shorter operating time
Reduced bleeding during the surgery
Simplifies post operative follow-up
Reduces post operative pain
Reduces post operative risks of infection
Faster recovery
No visible scar
Faster return to urinary continence
Faster recovery of sexual function
All about robotic surgery

What can we expect for robotic surgery in the future?

Recent technological innovations have opened up new perspectives in the development of robotics

The key to further progress is obviously the miniaturisation of robots, leading to even more precise minimally invasive surgery.

So in the field of robotics the best is yet to come!
 

The opinions expressed herein by Doctor Guetta are his own.
He does not receive any sponsorship from Intuitive Surgical, the company which distributes the Da Vinci Robot.

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