World Robotic Symposium 2011

A doctor reassuring a patient.
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I attended the world robotics symposium in June 27-29th, which highlighted the great impact of the robotics surgical technology and the challenges that we are going to face in the near future. The event was very exciting and intellectually stimulating. I watched various videos of operations and set through lectures describing other surgeons experience with robotics. In my practice, however, I have not used robotics surgery to date. In General Surgery and especially foregut surgery, robotics remain too invasive when compared with single incision laparoscopic surgery. Robotics allow a surgeon to operate in one quadrant at a time (our abdominal cavity has 4 quadrants) and through 5 different incisions, while a single incision laparoscopic surgery is done through one incision at the umbilicus which has a central location and provides the surgeon with access to all 4 quadrants. The advantage of having access to all 4 quadrants is the ability to undertake concomitant operations through one very small hidden incision at the belly button.

Where I see robotics surgery especially useful is in foregut operations that involve a big open abdominal incision. These operations include, pancreatic and liver resections for cancer and other disorders. Operations involving these organs tend to be more invasive and complex. Robotics technology would assist surgeons by providing HD-3D superior image for visualization of the tissue and better ergonomics, which ultimately make the operation safer and less invasive. For this specific reason, I have gotten involved with robotics and will begin to offer this approach soon.

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