Robots Make Their Way into Operating Rooms

In an effort to better assist surgical technologists and surgeons alike, technology in the form of robots have been incorporated into the operating room of a Colorado medical center. Not only does the robot assist surgeons, but the technology allows for patients to undergo fewer incisions, feel less pain, and experience less scarring.

Since the incorporation of the da Vinci surgical system, patients usually go home the next day or, in some cases, even the day of surgery. The surgery is less painful on the patient, allowing for a shorter recuperation time and less pain during the recovery process. Before surgeons can use the robot, they must undergo extensive training and practice scenarios with a simulator.

According to Stacy Childs, a urologist at the Yampa Valley Medical Center in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, the robot can make motions in three dimensions during a surgery with more precision than tools being held by a human hand. Child tracked 100 of his patients in recent years who elected to go to other hospitals outside the area simply because they had a robot, and claims that having the technology should allow patients to get treatment closer to home.  

Purchased using funds donated from an anonymous donor, the robot copies the motions of the surgeon’s hands, wrists, and fingers in real-time. Although hospitals across the nation are turning to robots to assist in surgeries, they’re most commonly used during gynecological procedures.

According to the New York Times, over 1 million surgeries have been performed by da Vinci systems throughout the past decade.