Shifting Paradigms in Surgical oncology – Future of Robotic surgery

Just as computers revolutionized the latter half of the 20th century, the field of robotics has the potential to equally alter how we live in the 21st century. Robotics in surgery is on the rise. Are robotics assisted surgeries any more efficient or better for the patient than laparoscopic or open surgeries? Whilst this sci-fi technology is yet to penetrate into all spheres of medicine, it has had a good beginning with a positive impact as a minimally invasive surgical method.

In  prostrate cancer treatment for example, Robotic surgery has revolutionized the treatment from a surgery which involved lot of blood, need for transfusion, immense pain, longer hospital stay to the point where a patient can now be assured of going home on the next day after a Robotic surgery with much less pain. Certainly the experience of the surgeon and the people involved in the procedure is much more important than the technology in itself.

In today’s operating rooms, we find two or three surgeons, an anaesthesiologist and several nurses, all needed for even the simplest of surgeries. As with all automation, surgical robots will eventually eliminate the need for some personnel. In a nearly empty operating room, the doctor sits at a computer console, either in or outside the operating room, using the surgical robot to accomplish what it once took a crowd of people to perform.

The use of a computer console to perform operations from a distance opens up the idea of telesurgery, which would involve a doctor performing delicate surgery miles away from the patient. If it were possible to use the computer console to move the robotic arms in real-time, then it would be possible for a doctor in Trivandrum to operate on a patient in Hyderabad.

Successful in the past, hence hope for the future

I envisage that almost all surgery can and will be performed by robotic surgery in the future. For that to happen there is a need for further development and customisation of robots. In education and training, training centres for robotic surgery should be established around the country.

Thanks to the rapid and continuing development of robotic technology, in the near future almost all kinds of endoscopic surgery and thoracoscopic/ laparoscopic surgery will become performed by robotic surgery, not only for benign disease but also for malignant illnesses.New technology like Software integration for precise anatomy,3D Animation ,Artificial intelligence would compensate for the absence of tactile feedback .Having fewer personnel in the operating room and allowing doctors the ability to operate on a patient long-distance could lower the cost of health care in the long term. In addition to cost efficiency, robotic surgery has several other advantages over conventional surgery, including enhanced precision and reduced trauma to the patient. It is about time for Indian Hospitals to embrace Robotic Assisted Surgeries as we have at Apollo Health City


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