The most innovative medical technology available today is probably robotic surgery, commonly known as robotic-assisted surgery. a procedure utilizing a camera and tiny surgical instruments carried by robotic arms. Although the viewing screen is often installed in the same room as the operating table, it can be placed elsewhere, allowing specially trained surgeons to perform telesurgery from remote places. A console, which includes the screen, enables surgeons to operate on patients while sitting down and viewing a magnified, three-dimensional image of the surgical site.
Robotic surgery might have found its way into Malaysia’s healthcare in the year 2022 but the technology and innovation has been started 40 years ago. Robotic surgery first became common in the 1980s. Brain biopsies were carried out using the first surgical robot, the PUMA 560. To reduce movement brought on by hand tremors, robotics was being employed in this treatment in 1985. Canada’s medical professionals employed the Arthrobot, the first surgical robot, in 1983. Later, other procedures including prostate and eye surgery were performed using robots. During the 1980s, robotic surgery started to slowly evolve. Initially, robotic surgery was carried out by skilled surgeons with the patient present in the same room as the robot. The ability to operate on patients who are far away is now made possible by modern technologies. The adoption of this approach has proven advantageous for surgeons who treat soldiers hurt abroad. One of the most sophisticated robots in use right now is the da Vinci Surgical System. The da Vinci Robotic surgical system was originally presented to the market in 1999 and has subsequently undergone fast technological and clinical development. Globally, more than 3,000 da Vinci robotic surgical systems have been installed, and millions of procedures in the fields of urology, gynaecology, cardiothoracic, general, and paediatric surgery have been performed using these systems. More than 7,200,000 procedures have already been carried out by more than 5,600 robots in 67 different nations. Robotic surgery accounts for over 80% of prostate cancer operations in the US and 70% in the UK. In contrast to matching open procedures, 72 studies that assessed different robotic surgeries came to the conclusion that they were associated with lower rates of morbidity, less blood loss, shorter hospital stays, and similar clinical outcomes. In comparison to laparoscopic techniques, they also provide a quicker learning curve and a shorter operating time.
In terms of accuracy, imaging capabilities, range of motion, and other factors, robotic surgical technology has significantly advanced nowadays. Numerous surgical specialities, including cardiothoracic, thoracic, ear, and throat surgeries, as well as neurosurgery (including the brain, spinal column, and peripheral nerves), have adopted contemporary robotic technology. Receiving robotically assisted surgery has several important advantages, including enhanced dexterity of the robotic instruments (compared to a surgeon’s hand), which enables access to difficult-to-reach regions. Thanks to the camera’s magnification, which is shown on the surgeon’s viewing screen, the surgical site may be seen more clearly. Ensure that the surgeon feels less fatigued and can stop their hand tremors (a common phenomenon, particularly during long surgical procedures). It may result in a patient’s rapid recovery and shorter hospital stays (due to smaller incisions and other factors). In addition, there is decreased blood loss, infection risk, and need for blood transfusions (compared to traditional surgery). Less time may occur after surgery for the patient to resume normal activities, which reduces discomfort and scarring. Moreover, it can assure a speedy return to normal function. For instance, robotic-assisted prostatectomy is known to significantly shorten the period that a patient is unable to urinate regularly and encourage a quicker return to normal sexual function after surgery. Based on a 2019 study, the most harmful outcomes of robotic surgery included lacerations, haemorrhage, issues with patient placement, retained foreign bodies, and infections. Traditional surgery and alternative forms of minimally invasive surgery are both risky surgical procedures (such as laparoscopic surgery and open surgery). When considering robotic-assisted surgery, it’s crucial to speak with your surgeon and other medical professionals in order to carefully assess the risks and advantages of the procedure.
In conclusion, robotic surgery is making a huge progress in the field of surgical and this year has marked the entry of this innovation in our healthcare system. Despite its advantage and benefits, the investment in this technology has been slow due to high cost to purchase and maintain this hi-tech equipment. The big question now is, do patient willing to undergo a robotic surgery?
DR. VIJAYAKUMARAN SELVARAJAN
SITI IDURA ISHAK