Quite simply, robotic surgery is that surgery which is performed by robots.
If that sounds rather futuristic and unbelievable to you, understand that we aren’t talking about sinister androids taking the place of human doctors, merely about minimally invasive surgery or surgery that is unmanned or remote.
Robotic surgery has the advantage of being more precise, causing less blood loss, requiring smaller incisions and consequently causing less blood and helping the patient heal faster.
Robots have been used in assisting or performing surgery upon humans since the mid 1980’s, when in 1985, a robot was used to assist in performing a brain biopsy.
Since then robotic surgery has been performed in prostatic surgery, hip replacement surgery, reconnection of the fallopian tubes, heart bypass, beating heart coronary artery bypass graft[coronary heart disease], gall bladder surgery, cholecystectomy, pediatric neurogenic bladder reconstruction (on a 10 year old child) and kidney transplant.
Using this system a doctor can perform surgery upon an individual who is physically miles away; even who is in a different continent from the patient as was demonstrated by Dr. Michel Gagner who used the Zeus robotic system to perform a cholecystectomy on a woman in Strasbourg, France while he himself was in New York
The da Vinci Robotic surgery system is a method of robotic surgery that has been developed to facilitate this kind of remote and minimally invasive kind of surgery and is so named because the legendary artist and scientist Leonardo da Vinci is said to have invented the first robot. This is also due to his deep interest and vast study of the human anatomy and in the field of surgery.
This system is comprised of a surgeon’s console with four robotic arms emerging from it. Each of these arms may typically hold the tools of surgery such as the scalpel, scissors, and electrocautery instruments.
The fourth arm is equipped with an endoscopic camera. This allows the remote surgeon to see the operation and perform it. The surgeon uses these robotic arms to perform motions that an ordinary human hand would not be able to owing to the restriction in its range of motion.
A robotic arm would also have none of that margin of error that would occur due to a tremor in the surgeon’s arm. This system of surgery is also able to offer ergonomic comfort, enhanced dexterity, superior visualization and greater precision for the performance of the surgery.
The aim of this system is to minimize or even neutralize human error when performing surgery. Robotic surgery is found to be particularly useful in performing procedures like laparoscopy.