26 August 2010

Robots in Cardiovascular Surgery: Guest Article by Susan White

Robots in Cardiovascular Surgery

They’re man’s inventions modeled on himself, and needless to say, they’ve made great strides in almost every field that uses technology. First introduced in factory production lines where automation held the key to improving productivity and efficiency, today, robots have moved on to doing tasks that require brainwork as well thanks to artificial intelligence. However, it was not until a few decades ago that these mechanical wonders were allowed to be used in the field of surgery. And because cardiac surgery is one of the most complicated medical procedures there is, it was only in the 1990s that robots were built and tested for use in the OR.

The benefits of using robots to perform cardiovascular surgeries are many, not just for the patient but for the surgical team too:

The surgery is minimally invasive – there are smaller cuts and openings which in turn translate into less pain, less scarring and a faster recovery period for the patient. Instead of a surgical cut, a small incision is made and an endoscope provides a magnified view of the surgical area using a video camera, using which surgeons perform the operation.

Robots remove the tendency for human errors by eliminating tremor which could cause surgeons to make mistakes when they are overworked or tired.

They provide easy access to body parts that are hard to get to and they allow surgeons to work from various angles and easily manipulate tissue.

They magnify the surgical area so that tiny body parts can be worked on easily and also provide a three-dimensional view which in turn eases the task of the surgical team.

The smaller instruments make it easy to work with children whose body parts are tiny and more fragile.

Robots allow what is called as motion scaling, a technique which allows surgeons to move their hands a certain distance and have it translated into a much smaller distance at the actual surgical site – it’s virtual reduction of movement and it helps when the surgery requires great precision and accuracy.

The camera is voice-activated so surgeons don’t have to free their hands to turn them to the right angle.

The first robot to find a place in the cardiac surgery room was Computer Motion’s AESOP in 1995. It allowed surgeons to repair and replace narrowing or leaking cardiac valves using tiny incisions. It is also being used for work deep within the heart like closing fistulas between coronary arteries and the cardiac chambers.

The da Vinci system and ZEUS were both introduced in 2000 to perform complete robotic heart surgery; both reduce the recovery time for patients by eliminating the need for surgeons to open up the chest through the sternum, a practice that was followed for open heart surgery. Clinical trials have established the safety of these robots in the OR, and it is safe to say that we can expect more complicated machines to assist surgeons in performing cardiac surgeries in the years to come.

This article is contributed by Susan White, who regularly writes on the subject of surgical technician schools. She invites your questions, comments at her email address: susan.white33@gmail.com.

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Blogger David Lindahl said...

Hello Friend,

Thanks very much for added my link on your Blog

Thanks again and all the best with your endeavours!


Thursday, 26 August, 2010  

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