Published: April 12, 2018

There’s no denying robotics are becoming a huge part of our daily lives. From Amazon drones to voice-activated vacuum cleaners, robots are slowly becoming the norm. It inevitable that robotic technology would make its way into the world of surgery. What does this mean for medical professionals? Should surgeons be worried about losing their jobs to automation?

How Surgical Robots Work

Fortunately, use of robotic technology in the medical field still requires the special touch of a surgeon. In fact, this technology allows surgeons to have better precision and more control over the procedure. Two common robotic systems, the da Vinci Surgical System and SPORT Surgical System, are operated remotely by the surgeon. Both of these surgical system robots have multiple arms to improve surgical accuracy, and a video monitoring system to give the surgeon a detailed view of the patient.

The Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery in Great Britain and Ireland published a series in 2018 stating that “Robotic surgery represents an advancement of minimally invasive surgery, improved optics, increased dexterity of the instruments, and better ergonomics”.

What are the Benefits of Robotic Surgery?

One of the key benefits of robotic surgery is that it is minimally invasive for the patient. NYU Langone Health says their patients who have undergone surgery using robotic technology experience less physical trauma, minimal scarring, and a faster recovery time. This is due to the surgeon’s ability to have a three-dimensional view of the inside of a patient. Surgeons are able to get “up close and personal,” allowing for improved accuracy.

It’s worth mentioning that one major disadvantage to robotic surgery is cost. At this time, the technology is expensive — averaging about 2 million per robot and about $3,000 — $6,000 for the patient. This limits accessibility, meaning fewer patients are able to reap the benefits.However, It’s possible that as the technology improves the cost will decrease.

What Does the Future of Robotic Surgery Look Like?

According to a recent article published by Medscape A Closer Look at Robotic Surgery Cost, Use, and Trends, there are currently “about 4,000 robotic systems are in current use and most are using a patented system that has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration”. These robotic systems are becoming increasingly used in pediatric conditions like pyeloplasty and urologic procedures.

Since the technology is so young, it is difficult to tell what the future of robotic surgery has in store. Right now, early results are promising. If the tech continues to improve both the accuracy of surgeons and the experience of the patient, will likely become more and more common in hospitals across the country. When it does, patients and surgeons everywhere will enjoy a better medical experience.

Interested in learning more about new technologies in medicine? Be sure to explore the continuing medical education courses offered through Intiva Health. We’ll help you stay on stay on the forefront of new technology — and your medical career.

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