Robotic Surgery

A robotic surgery is a computer controlled and self powered device which can be programmed to help in manipulation and positioning of surgical instruments. This enables the surgeons to carry out complex tasks quite easily. However the systems which are currently in use have not been designed to act independently from a human surgeon or even not ready to replace them. Rather, these machines actually act as remote extensions which are completely governed by surgeons and so they are best called as master slave manipulators. Fortunately, two of the master slave systems have already received approval from the FDA or Food and Drug Administration of US and are being used which are the da Vinci surgical system and ZEUS system. These systems come designed with two basic components which are linked together with computer and data cables.

The master console of the surgeon is the user interface of the robot surgery which offers master surgeon several instructions. The instructions offered include
• 3-dimensional view for the surgical field relayed from the endoscopic camera included inside the patient's body and in control of the robot which creates sense of being engrossed in the surgical field.
• An professional control panel to amend the functions such as motion scaling, controlling and focusing camera and to the accessory units.
• There is a master manipulator control which is basically like joysticks or handles which surgeon uses during the surgery. These movements though the handles are then translated to real time movements for the slave manipulators docked over the patient. The motions scaling and tremor filtering functions increase precision and accuracy in movements of the surgeon.

However the patient side robotic manipulators are still also designed with robotic arms which manipulate surgical instruments along with the camera through laparoscopic ports that are connected in the body of the patient. The da Vinci system is designed to handle surgical instruments including microarticulations at the tip or endowrist which can actually duplicate the motions of human waist.

Robotic surgery - clinical applications

Robotic surgery today effectively addressed the confines of traditional thoracoscopic and laparoscopic surgery thereby allowing achievement of advanced and complex surgical procedures with better precision in a plainly invasive manner. As opposed to the uncomfortable positions which are needed during laparoscopic surgery, the surgeon in robotic surgery is comfortably seated on the robotic consol in a perfect arrangement which indicates which reduces physical burden of the surgeon. Rather than just 2-dimensional or flat image which is gained through the standard laparoscopic camera, surgeon in robotic surgery receives 3-dimensional view which improves depth perception. Moreover the camera motion is also very steady which is conveniently controlled through the operation surgeon through manual or voice activated master controls. Moreover the manipulation of the robotic arm instruments also improves the range of motion when compared with standard laparoscopic instruments and thereby it lets the surgeon to conduct more compound surgical movements.

However in comparatively short time the robotic procedures are spanning the whole range of surgery which have been effectively executed. Some initial results display that morbidity, mortality and hospital stay contrast favorable to the traditional laparoscopic operations. There are just a few number of randomized and potential studies which compare outcomes from the robotic techniques over the existing conservative methods. Some more procedures specific and randomized trials also need to be conducted before the robotic surgery can find their way into regular surgical practice.

Limitations of robotic surgery

Although robotic surgery is fast developing the technology has still not achieved its full prospective while owing to some limitations. One major issue is the cost effectiveness point. Some recent studies that compare robotic procedures over standard operations have displayed that although the absolute cost for these robotic operations are a bit high the major part for this increased cost attributes the initial cost for purchasing the robot and yearly maintenance. These two factors are expected to decrease as the robotic system gain higher widespread recognition. However it is imaginable that some further technical advancements might at first drive the prices even more higher. The robotic equipment is also a bit bulky which is yet another drawbacks to this robotic surgery.


Although robotic surgery is still in its early stages, it is still a cutting edge development in the surgery field which can have high ending implications. The robotic surgery is also improving dexterity and precision and this fast emerging technology would soon allow the surgeons to conduct operations which were usually not agreeable to minimal access methods. Therefore the benefits over this minimal access method surgery might be applicable to broader range of procedures. Moreover safety is also ensured as a number of cases done using robotic surgery have shown positive outcomes. This telerobotic surgery is currently viewed as an excellent way to deliver surgical care to the patients who don't have direct access to the surgeon.