If you listen to gynecologists, robotic surgery is the best thing to ever hit the field of gynecological surgery. It's not just new and technologically advanced; robotic surgery is nothing short of miraculous. These aren't just cool toys they give to doctors; the robots mean a shorter recovery period, fewer complications, and reduced pain for patients.
People find the concept of robotic surgery worrisome, so let's set the record straight by clarifying that the robots do not do the actual surgery. The surgeon is still the man behind the curtain, performing the surgical techniques, but he is assisted in large measure by the technological capabilities afforded by the use of the robot.
Here's how it works: the surgeon sits at a console, facing a screen. The screen's high-resolution 3-D graphics surpass the visual capabilities of the human eye. This helps the surgeon get a view of the surgical field in far greater detail than was ever possible before. In a similar fashion, the hand controls give the surgeon greater precision of movement and many more ways to move than would be possible with the human hand alone.
Band Aid Incisions
Robotic surgery is not unlike laparoscopic surgery in that both surgeries are only minimally invasive. Both types of surgery involve two small "band aid" incisions. The surgeon inserts a camera into one of these incisions while the actual surgery is performed through the opening afforded by the second incision.
But here is where the resemblance between the two surgeries ends. For one thing, robotic surgery allows the surgeon to see much more of the surgical field. Laparoscopy affords a 2-D visual, while robotic surgery shows the surgical field in 3-D. The surgeon has much greater freedom of movement with robotic surgery than he would with laparoscopy.
Doctors attest to the benefits of better vision and improved control over surgical implements and technique. The advantages of the new robotic equipment lead to a safer surgical experience. Patients incur less trauma, decreased blood loss, and a great deal less post-operative discomfort. Recovery time is faster which translates to shorter hospital stays. It's a win/win situation for all concerned.
The first hospitals to take the gamble of investing in this new (and expensive) robotic surgical equipment are seeing a shift in surgical trends. Gynecologists have gone from using open incisions in most of their surgeries, to using the minimally invasive surgeries in 70% of their surgical cases.