Medical Machinery: The Rise of Robotics in Surgery

Over the past 25 years, we have seen a huge growth in the use of robots in surgical procedures. It has been a groundbreaking transformation, with more surgeries being able to be performed or assisted by robotics. These robotic surgeries allow surgeons to perform more complex procedures with increased precision and control. It can reach limits that simply aren’t possible with traditional surgeries.

A robotic surgery system will usually consist of mechanical arms with surgical instruments installed on them and a camera arm so the doctor or surgeon can see what’s happening. The surgeon can control the mechanical arm while being seated in the control centre, which is usually placed near the operating table.

The camera can magnify and provide a clearer view for the surgeon that his own eyes wouldn’t be able to see in such detail. It can also travel further inside the patient to allow the surgeon to see every aspect of the surgery and if there is anything going wrong.

With that being said, let’s delve into the world of medical machinery and take a look at the rise of robotics in surgical procedures and how they could further develop in the future.

Statistics of robot-assisted surgery

There have been over 12 million robotic surgeries performed over the past 25 years, with more than 60,000 surgeons being trained to use da Vinci Systems; the most popular and minimally invasive robotic system in the world. This number should continue to increase exponentially over the next few years, with the aim to eventually have every surgeon trained to use the robotic system. It is thought that this number will increase by 13% to 16% in 2024.

Research conducted in Michigan, US, noted that from 2012 to 2018, the use of robotics in surgery increased from 1.8% to 15.1%. Some surgeries have seen huge growth in robot-assisted surgery, such as inguinal hernia surgery. This grew from 0.7% to 28.8% during this time.

The benefits of robot-assisted surgery

The main reason why we have seen such astronomical growth in the amount of robot-assisted surgeries is that there are several major benefits in doing so. Let’s take a look at some of these benefits and how they are achieved.

Increased precision

The main reason that robotic surgery has been used and developed so much is due to how precise it is. Robots can perform many tasks more precisely than normal humans, and even though they may be controlled by humans during surgery, they are steadier, more controlled and have less chance of error. This is because they are programmed so that they have to perform strictly.

Robot-assisted surgery is also able to get to places that humans cannot, which makes them much more capable of having a higher success rate than standard procedures.

More efficient

There’s a reason why robots are now being used and preferred to do certain jobs instead of humans; efficiency. The robotic devices used for surgery have greater dexterity and range of motion compared to humans. This means that they can perform delicate surgeries and harder to reach places. Being able to see the site of surgery from a closer perspective makes the process more efficient.

Less risk of infection

Robot-assisted surgery is less invasive than standard procedures. The number and size of the surgical incisions in standard surgery are bigger than those in robotic surgery, which only require smaller incisions that significantly reduce the risk of infection. This is because there is less tissue disruption from cutting and less exposure to pathogens.

Especially with surgeries such as liposuction, which involve a lot of incisions, robotics can smoothen the process. This will eliminate the question of whether you had good or bad liposuction, as there is less risk of infection with robot-assisted surgery.

Faster recovery

A patient who undergoes robotic surgery usually experiences a faster recovery time compared to those who undergo traditional surgery. This is because the smaller incisions result in less blood loss and fewer post-op complications. Due to this, there is less chance of the patient having to receive stitches or staples.

Yapa plastic surgery can take several weeks to fully recover, but if robotics are used to assist these surgeries, it could significantly reduce the amount of time the patient has to rest and recover. The surgical scars from plastic surgery should also be smaller as a result.

A wide array of procedures

Robotics are now programmed to be able to be used for a wide array of different procedures. It is becoming the most sought-after and best solution to multiple health issues such as eye disease, due to all the other benefits we have previously mentioned.

The first surgical robot, PUMA 560, was used in the 1980s to help perform a brain biopsy procedure. It was first thought to use these robots in an attempt to get higher success rates from surgery, with eliminating human hand tremors being the main aim. Since then, robots have been developed to be able to be used to help many different procedures. Eventually, robotics should be able to be used for all surgeries.

The future of surgery robotics

There are some trends that we expect to see in the future of surgery robotics. This includes micro-robots, artificial intelligence and telepresence. Creating robots and robotics systems on a microscopic scale could be the next step in making surgery even less invasive. These robots can be smaller, faster and more efficient than the currently used robots, making the process more efficient. This could be particularly useful for an appendix operation.

AI and machine learning algorithms are expected to play a prominent role in surgeries in the future, as they can assist with real-time decision-making, improve surgical planning and enhance precision. This could eventually lead to robots completing surgery without assistance from a doctor or surgeon.

Telepresence is also something to consider, as it would allow surgeons to perform robotic surgeries remotely in different geographical locations. Telepresence and remote surgery could also enhance access to high-quality health care and improve the overall health of those who undergo a surgical procedure.

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