Based on your point of view, this image above can seem fascinating or disturbing. Dr. Yosef is a surgeon and former member of the Cedar Sinais robotic steering committee, and he understands your concerns. A robot performing surgery? Then what is my surgeon doing? Watching videos on their phone?
Not exactly, Dr. Yosef says. Robotic surgery implies automation. A robotic “surgery assistant” might be a better name, a way to describe the many amazing ways robotics have assisted surgeons with their operations, but not simply doing the surgery for the surgeon.
Surgical robotic systems are comprised of miniature cameras and mechanical arms with surgical instruments. The Surgeon controls these arms and uses the cameras for feedback and information, usually while seated at a nearby computer.
Why do things this way? In short, it allows Surgeons to perform more complex, less invasive, surgery for longer periods of time. Mechanical arms mean smaller incisions needed for surgery. Miniature cameras allow surgeons to see areas invisible to the naked eye. The design of the robotics has been perfected for years to make sure the surgeon can stay alert and focused for longer.
Smaller incisions and more focused surgeons mean shorter recovery times, less chance of complications, and shorter hospital stays.
Some people however still may have very valid concerns. Does robotic surgery mean that I’m getting less surgeon attention and care? Is this all a clever ruse for my surgeons to get lazy with their practices and still charge exorbitant fees?
Doctors like Dr. Yosef understand people’s fears and encourages those who have them to see for themselves. “Come see for yourself,” Dr. Yosef says, “ You’ll see that no robot is performing a surgery automatically.” Instead, robotic surgery aides are like cutting-edge formula one cars, allowing surgeons to perform the most advanced and groundbreaking techniques their field has to offer.
And like those f1 drivers, Dr. Yosef and others like him have been training for years so that these new technologies are like an extension of themselves, as comfortable and in tune with them as their own hands might be.
Have questions about robotic surgery and want to talk about it? Speak to a medical professional today about how robotic surgery may be a treatment option for you.