Nuts And Bolts Of Robotic Surgery

Nuts And Bolts Of Robotic Surgery

Compared to traditional open surgery, robotic surgery is minimally invasive and recovery time is often shorter, making the technology attractive to patients and doctors. But the da Vinci surgical system is expensive, costing as much as $2 million, and recent studies show that for certain procedures it can sometimes lead to worse long-term outcomes than other types of surgery.

Even so, the robot has become common practice in some specialties, such as urology and gynecology, and that growth is expected to continue, which means more surgeons are learning to use the device.

“It’s not necessarily, ‘Is robot better?’ ” says Dr. Kenneth Kim, director of the robotic training program at UAB Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama. “Robot is just another tool that they need to master just like any other surgical tool.”

But “mastering the robot” can be a challenge.

“It never was an issue because open surgery, like scissors — like everyone learns how to use scissors in kindergarten,” Kim says. “Everyone knows, functionally, how to use a knife. But with the robot, it’s a totally different, new tool and it’s more complex, so now that has a separate learning curve.”

Source: Doctors Learn The Nuts And Bolts Of Robotic Surgery