Source Pravda.Ru

Robots take on surgeons' heavy work

A system that allows surgeons to perform laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery from a remote console, controlling up to three robotic arms and a binocular camera, was successfully tested in 10 patients, according to a study in the August issue of Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

The laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery is often considered the most challenging minimally invasive procedure in general surgery, requiring a learning curve of 75 to100 cases for even experienced surgeons to achieve the highest level of proficiency, according to background information in the article.

Although robotic surgical techniques have been developed to assist laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery, the complex geometry of the surgery has required repositioning of the robot, complicating its use.

Catherine J. Mohr, M.S.M.E., of the Stanford School of Medicine, Calif., and colleagues report the first 10 patients to undergo a totally robotic laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery using a technique developed to minimize robot repositioning.

The results were compared with a sample of 10 patients who had undergone standard laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery during July to September 2002. There were no significant differences in the general health, age or body mass index of the two sets of patients. All patients were women. The researchers compared surgical times as well as the ratio of the procedure time to the patient's BMI, informs Medical News Today.

According to Science Daily, robotic surgical techniques have been developed to assist laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery; the complex geometry of the surgery has required repositioning of the robot, complicating its use.

Catherine Mohr of the Stanford School of Medicine and colleagues compared surgical times as well as the ratio of the procedure time to the patient's body mass index.

The number and severity of complication were comparable, the researchers found.

"The median length of time to complete the procedure was significantly shorter with the robot," the authors wrote. "Reluctance to use new technology such as the ... surgical robot often reflects surgeon concern over increasing complication rates, increased operative times and steep learning curves," the authors noted.

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