Robots Transform The Way Surgery Is Done

Advances in surgical procedures have led to less invasive operations. For example, surgeons use laparoscopic procedures to perform some types of surgery, such as knee repairs. These techniques involve making tiny incisions and sending a miniature camera and tools inside the patient. More recent advances have led to the use of robots to assist surgeons with operations. 

How It's Done

Robotic arm surgery involves using tiny tools on a robotic arm. Surgeons are able to control the movements of the arm on a computer and direct it to perform certain steps. Patients are typically given general anesthesia, then surgeons make small incisions in the affected area. The surgeon places a robotic arm, camera and tools inside the incisions, then controls the arm through a computer. 

The robotic arm does all of the physical work inside the surgical site, using the tiny tools to make repairs or remove damaged or diseased tissue. These procedures can last longer than laparoscopic surgery or open surgery, mainly due to the time required to get the robotic arm set up for use. 

Why It's Done

Surgeons sometimes use robotic surgery for several different types of procedures, including the following:

  • Hip replacements
  • Coronary artery bypass
  • Kidney removals or transplants
  • Gallbladder removals
  • Tubal ligations

Surgeons who have access to robotic arm equipment sometimes opt to use it over other types of surgical procedures due to the benefits it offers. Robotic arm surgery allows surgeons to make small incisions, leading to a shorter recovery time, a lower risk of infection, less pain and less bleeding. Patients also typically stay in the hospital for a shorter amount of time and end up with smaller scars after having robotic arm surgery performed. 

Are There Risks?

Robotic arm surgery has certain advantages, but it has also been associated with some risks. Patients who undergo this type of surgical procedure might be at risk for complications, such as excessive bleeding, punctures and infection. In some cases, patients or family members have contacted personal injury attorneys to file lawsuits against robotic arm manufacturers for burns caused by uninsulated robotic arms. Other reasons that patients or family members have contacted a robotic surgery attorney or malpractice lawyers, such as those at Otorowski Johnston Morrow & Golden P.L.L.C., include the death of a loved one after surgery, lacerations and intestinal tearing. 

Patients who are considering having robotic arm surgery done should ask their surgeon about the risks involved with the procedure, so they can make an informed decision.