Surgical robot allows cancer patients to heal faster

The machine complements the work of skilled doctors without replacing them.
Loukia Papadopoulos
Representational image of a surgical robot.jpg
Representational image of a surgical robot.

gorodenkoff/iStock 

Surgical robots that can assist in medical procedures are increasingly gaining traction as they help doctors perform better and allow patients to heal faster.

There’s the famous DaVinci Surgery system that is equipped with highly dexterous robot arms that can be manipulated to complete precise cutting and stitching. In the UK, robots are helping thousands of women plagued by the painful womb condition endometriosis while in Canada robot-assisted deep brain stimulation surgeries are aiding patients suffering from epilepsy.

Meanwhile, just earlier this month, Chinese doctors were able to conduct a remote and highly-precise eye surgery on rabbits from over 350 miles (585 kilometers) away using a 5G robot. 

Over 280 successful surgeries

Now, a report from the BBC is revealing that a UK robot has been used in over 280 surgeries, allowing doctors to perform with more success and cancer patients to heal faster and better.

NGH surgeon Mr Chandran Tanabalan told the news outlet that the robot is crucial to an increased performance even though it does not operate autonomously.

"The robot doesn't carry out the operation; surgeons use the robot to enable more precision, flexibility and control,” said the doctor.

"That means smaller wounds which heal faster and enable patients to go home earlier."

The new type of surgery is already receiving rave reviews from patients.

Patients praise the robot

"This amazing bit of kit was used to help remove my prostate,” told the BBC Ian Dowell who had his prostate removed in June.

"Even though it is a major operation I was only in hospital for one night, I didn't need any post operative pain relief and my recovery has been excellent."

Meanwhile, Ross Thompson, who also had his prostate removed in September, praised the robot’s speed and efficiency.

"I came in to hospital about 07:00 and went home about 15:00 BST the next day,” he told the BBC.

"Having an operation using the robot means you have much smaller wounds and they heal a lot quicker. I pretty much felt back to normal in a few weeks. I would say to people there are definite benefits to having this kind of operation if it is offered to you."

The new robot showcases the power of machines to make our lives better without replacing humans. The device complements the work of skilled surgeons allowing them to operate with greater efficacy. This results in improved healing time for their patients making the ordeal of having cancer a bit easier to cope with.

Anyone who has experienced or witnessed someone who has had cancer can testify to the immense toll it takes on one’s life. Being able to have a better surgery greatly reduces the burden of being sick and helps patients psychologically as much as it does physically.

As more and more robots are invented to assist in a variety of operations, there are more chances of people recovering successfully from all kinds of conditions. This is one area where robotics can only serve humanity, not harm it or replace it.

The UK robot cost $2.16 million (£1.7 million).

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