The Robot OR invasion continues — this week we learn that the Da Vinci System is headed for… the prostate. This UPenn press release shows how Dr. Lee and his team have cut down on prostatectomy side effects with the help of robots:
Robotic technology offers a number of advantages during surgery. For instance, the robotic “arms” filter even minute tremors of the human hand so to provide steadiness. The robot’s camera also provides a three-dimensional, stereoscopic image of the body’s interior, as opposed to a two-dimensional image on a flat screen. This improved perspective enables depth perception that sharpens the visualization of the prostate and the network of nerves and tissue surrounding it. Additionally, by scaling down the motion of the robotic instruments, the surgeon can perform extremely precise, intricate movements during the procedure. For example, if the surgeon’s hand moves five centimeters, he/she can scale the robotic hand to move only one centimeter.
Robotic technology also offers a number of advantages after surgery. Because laparoscopic surgery is minimally invasive and no large incisions are involved, robotic-assisted surgery provides numerous benefits for prostate cancer patients, including: less pain and scarring, diminished blood loss, a shorter hospital stay and reduced recovery period for a quicker return to daily activities.
The actual robot consists of a tower that manipulates instruments controlled from a console that is situated a few feet from the patient. At the console, the surgeon operates four robotic “arms” and “wrists” using hand and foot controls. One of the robotic arms holds a tiny video camera, one works as a retractor and the other two replicate the surgeon’s exact hand movements. The camera and instruments are inserted through small keyhole incisions in the patient