Surgical Robotics now falls under Biomedical Science. The principle of Surgical Robotics is to help the S1 or the main surgeon with the aid of our Computer assisted mechanical science. In our Surgical field, we hugely employ mechanics and without 99% input from a knowledge from doctors.
Goal and Target of Surgical Robotics
The major unwritten goal for Surgical Robotics is to help the main operating surgeon, we denote as S1. Basically anything related to Surgical Robotics is designed to work as S2 or S3. The major problem with Surgical Robotics is, the amount of torque to be applied to give an S like incision (for example) is not well defined, it is the experience and skill of a human (=surgeon) who unknowingly, subconsciously applies the right torque.
So, ultimately our target of developing or help to developing Surgical Robotics has only two facets :
- To improve precision either by minimizing or maximizing the direct force we apply or to get helped by another experienced surgeon who is geographically located far away.
- To increase the sterile barrier
Practical situation and position of Surgical Robotics
Basically it is meaningless to buy a surgical unit which worth more than 1 Million dollar (for da Vinchi System) and takes a huge time for the surgeon to get used with the system. We are not chopping a ship to eat, it is a human and most importantly, the time needed to perform a robotic surgery is much more than when performed without surgical assistance and with a good S2.
Does it mean Surgical Robotics has no value ?
Surgical Robotics itself has many good aspects. The most important point is, it keeps the sterile barrier more effective and as we are humans, its quite painful to stand hours after hours. This standing thing has not been changed since when anesthesia has been discovered. Fatigue is not the question, the problem is, after standing 8 hours+ for few decades, a big portion of surgeons develops a typical painful disease of leg veins (as the blood pulled down by gravity). So an experienced surgeon becomes a useless person, as simply its painful for him to stand. This is where the conventional or rather now available Surgical Robotics has to offer a bit comfort by allowing to sit and operate. But this comfort unfortunately have to bear by the patients. We usually use non disposable surgical instruments except scalpel blade, suture materials etc, practically of few dollars.
For a general surgical procedure, using Surgical Robotics powered OT will add over $1500 only for the instruments – all are disposable and branded. There is no clear cut advantages of using Surgical Robotics over conventional laparoscopic surgery.
Future of Surgical Robotics
Only if Mutton Biriyani can be cooked by a machine, then probably Surgical Robotics can replace or help a Surgeon. The initial approach of Surgical Robotics was better but ultimately now Surgical Robotics has become an industrial business to sell multi million dollar units and recurring needed instruments.
Also it is important to think about the patient’s psychology, a human – the patient’s doctor is standing beside and operating has a big added value.