It almost sounds like an episode of the old cartoon that was set in the the year 2062, The Jetsons. Imagine Rosie the Robot performing a prostrate operation on George. Well, robotic surgery for prostate cancer is now a reality. At least, that’s what they are calling it, but it is not exactly what it sounds like. The procedure is done by a doctor operating a remote controlled device.
Non-robotic prostate surgery is a significantly more invasive operation. Patients usually rate their experience with the robotic prostate procedure favorably. You can expect to see a lot more of these procedures.
Most people have yet to hear of this, but it’s not really new. Since the late 1990s, many surgeons have logged thousands of operations with their robotic partners. The earliest work was done in the mid to late 1980s.
The da Vinci surgical system is the name of the robotic device. It can perform is duties by cutting four minimally sized holes, large enough to get go in with the tiny tools and camera and get the job done without cutting open the patients, as most operations do.
Any natural micro hand tremors are technologically filtered out by the system, which makes the operation safer than traditional procedures. Additionally, the precise instruments, along with the view afforded by the high tech camera, allow exact movements without damaging surrounding tissue.
The amount of blood that is lost in this procedure is so much less than normal, the operation has been referred by some people as, “the bloodless prostate surgery.” There are similar improvements in recuperation time and discomfort levels.
Other patient-pleasing benefits of this procedure, over the open prostate surgery, is the usual ugly scar is not a factor. There are only four little, round pocks. The normal method has a some rather displeasing side effects that the newer surgery doesn’t induce. There’s no mystery as to why minimally invasive procedures consistently receive more positive patient feedback.
To give you an idea of how less invasive the robotic operation is, it is not uncommon for patients to walk out several hours after the procedure was performed. Most patients are able to leave the hospital the next day.
Is robotic surgery for prostate cancer the only procedure of its type? Absolutely not. There are similar operations in the following areas: Urology, Pediatrics, Orthopedics, Gynecology, Gastrointestinal, Electrophysiology, Neurosurgery, Cardiology, Cardiothoracic and General surgery.
So what about Rosie the Robot? Is she ever going to get a chance to perform surgery? If you look at all the advancements that have been made in your lifetime alone, it might be wise not to bet against her. Just a handful of years ago, May, 2006, a robotic system that is now known as, “the first artificial intelligence doctor, ” performed a surgery, under its own control, on a guy in his mid 30’s who had a case of heart arrythmia.
The developer of the unit was confident it was “more than qualified” to operate since it had a databases of 10,000 similar operations to draw from. How did it fare? The results were rated, more desirable than the average human surgeon. The developer predicts that within 10 to 15 years, half of all surgeries will be done solo by robotic surgeons.