No matter how great a surgeon is, robotic assistance can bring a higher level of precision to the operating table. The ability to remotely operate a robot that can hold precision instruments greatly increases the accuracy of surgical procedures like thoracoscopic surgery, which is used to treat lung cancer. Of the two most common types of lung cancer, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is a good candidate for surgery because the tumors spread slowly and are more localized. Since more than 80 percent of people with lung cancer have NSCLC, surgery is a common treatment. Lung cancer usually starts when epithelial cells that line the inside of the lungs rapidly reproduce into cancerous cells, creating tumors inside the lungs.
The field of surgery is ever-changing and evolving. A major revolution has happened in the last 25 years as the focus has shifted to minimally invasive surgery and subsequently to robotic assisted surgery. Minimally-invasive surgical techniques have benefitted the patients in terms of lower morbidity and mortality through lesser violation of the body's natural barriers. The morbidity associated with open surgery like pain, discomfort, and delayed recovery was mainly due to the process of gaining access through bigger incisions. The same surgeries can now be performed through smaller cuts using minimally invasive techniques leading to lesser pain and faster recovery.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK, with more than 40,000 new cases diagnosed every year. But help in beating this form of life-threatening disease is coming in an usual form - from robots. A revolutionary form of surgery that uses a state-of-the-art robot to remove tumours has treated more than 350 patients in its first 18 months in a hospital in Wales. A revolutionary form of surgery which uses a state-of-the-art robot to remove tumours has treated more than 350 patients in its first 18 months in a hospital in Wales. Named the da Vinci robot, the equipment is being used three days a week in the University Hospital of Wales, and solely on prostate cancer patients.
It is the most exacting of surgical skills: tying a knot deep inside a patient's abdomen, pivoting long graspers through keyhole incisions with no direct view of the thread. Trainee surgeons typically require 60 to 80 hours of practice, but in a mock-up operating theatre outside Cambridge, a non-medic with just a few hours of experience is expertly wielding a hook-shaped needle – in this case stitching a square of pink sponge rather than an artery or appendix. The feat is performed with the assistance of Versius, the world's smallest surgical robot, which could be used in NHS operating theatres for the first time later this year if approved for clinical use. Versius is one of a handful of advanced surgical robots that are predicted to transform the way operations are performed by allowing tens or hundreds of thousands more surgeries each year to be carried out as keyhole procedures. "The vast majority of patients, despite all the advantages of minimal-access surgery, are still getting open surgery, because so few surgeons have the skills," said Mark Slack, head of gynaecology at Addenbrooke's hospital, Cambridge, and co-founder of CMR Surgical, the company behind Versius.
Robotic surgery sounds like the ultimate in safe, efficient and effective 21st-century health care. Instead of a surgeon's potentially fallible human hand, you have a robot with its precision-built mechanical arms able to perform micro-accurate procedures on tissues deep within the body. With robot-assisted surgery, the surgeon sits at a nearby console with a 3D view of the surgical site. If the surgeon's hand develops a tremor, the computer system knows to ignore it. The technology also means surgeons can use finer instruments that cause less damage to the body.