Wouldn’t someone want to know if the technology being used during their surgery is reliable? Over the years, medical technology has improved vastly increasing patients’ chances of surviving technical procedures. One fairly new medical enhancement is using robots to do surgeries. Are these medical robots safe? What are the pros and cons of the robots? This paper will discuss all of these possibilities.Robotic technology is a lot more precise than open surgery.
It allows for smaller incisions, which means less stitches and less recovery time; better control of the surgical instruments, which prevents accidental cuts and burns to the body. With robotic surgery, there is also a lower risk of complications, which means less hospital time, recovery time, and the patient is more likely to return to normal life quicker. Some other benefits of medical robots are they provide faster return of erectile function in urological surgeries, and three-dimensional, magnified image for more accurate incisions. There is a shorter learning curve for surgeons, which leads to less user-errors in surgeries. Studies have also recorded decreased blood loss, shorter hospital stays, and lower incidence of some surgical complications.
Lower blood transfusion rates have also been recorded with surgical robots. The rates of some complications-deep vein thrombosis, wound infections, lymphoceles and hematomas, anastomotic leaks, and ureteral injuries-appear to be slightly lower than with open surgeries. Medical robots produce more effective surgeries, especially for urology, and the doctor has more control on what is happening in the patient’s body.Men who had undergone robotic prostatectomy, the removal of the prostate gland, had higher rates of post-prostatectomy incontinence and erectile dysfunction than men who had an open procedure. Robotic surgery shares the same risks of open and laparoscopic surgery, including the potential for infection, bleeding, and the cardiopulmonary risks of anesthesia. On top of that, there are additional risks that are unique to the robotic system. Not only is there potential for human error in operating the robotic technology, but an added risk of mechanical failure is also introduced.
Multiple components of the system can malfunction, including the camera, binocular lenses, robotic tower, robotic arms, and instruments.Doctor Bryant Mark Whiting, a Urologist employed by Intermountain Healthcare, is trained in robotic surgery. He prefers using a robot for surgeries than open surgeries. He says that The robotic surgeries take less time, are more accurate, have less complications, and shorter recovery times.
Doctor Whiting is a first-hand witness of the effects of robotic surgery. However, he also states that the safety of robotic surgery does not depend on the robot, but on the surgeon operating it. If the surgeon is not properly trained in robotics, then it is safer to just do open surgery, which the surgeon is already experienced in. He also explains that there are some professions that can benefit more from robotics than others. Urology, which Doctor Whiting specializes in, is the profession that benefits most from the medical robots. This is because a lot of the surgeries in urology only require a small incision for the robot to reach into. However, a surgeon cannot reach his hand into a small incision, therefore a bigger incision has to be made which leads to longer recovery time and more complications.
Ultimately, the benefits of robotic surgery are greater than the downfalls, and most of the complications end up being user error. The medical robots almost never malfunction, and when they do, the doctor should be trained to know what to do. The medical robots do a lot to benefit the patient in helping him/her recover faster and have fewer complications. The medical robots are very beneficial and as long as the surgeon is trained properly, the robots can be more effective in some surgeries than open surgery.