Benifits for the patients
The revolution of robotic surgery has brought many benefits to patients undergoing surgery. These are classified into two main areas, namely “minimally invasive” and "Health" (da Vinci 2007).
In the area of “Minimally invasive”:
1)Improved cosmesis outcome (reduced intervention areas, less scaring, etc)
2)Fewer complications (da Vinci system 2004) such as less blood loss, less pain, etc.
In the area of “Health”:
1)Shorter hospital stays
2)less patient morbidity
3)shorter convalescence for patients (after the hospital)
a.fewer lost days from work (da Vinci system 2004)
b.faster return to normal daily activities (jogging, biking, etc)
Studies indicate that in many cases patients have better clinical outcomes when compared to human surgery (da Vinci 2007).
Similarly to human surgeons, whom vary in nationality, character and personality, robotic surgeons come in different types as well. Namely (According to BMJ 2007), active, semi-active and passive.
“Active” is defined (Dictionary.com) as “to be in a state of existence, progress, or motion.” Therefore, an active robot is one that actually moves (BMJ 2007). This category includes laparoscopic camera holders, telemanipulators, and robots used for burring out tissue. Stated by Harvard 2005, a few examples of active robots are the AESOP robotic system, the Da Vinci system and the Zeus system.
Opposite to active robots, a passive robot is not in motion. Dictionary.com, defines passive as “to not participate readily or actively; inactive.” This category consists mainly of a robot to position a fixture appropriately and is then turned off. After the machine is off, the surgeon would insert his/her instruments and continue with the surgery (BMJ 2007). For example, a passive robot would be used to help position a device for guiding neurosurgical biopsy needles.
Semi-active robots fall somewhere between active and passive robot. This category consists of robots that require input from the surgeon to carry out power directed activity. The Acrobot robot is an example of such. This robot is a Prosthetic knee implantation system. (BMJ 2007)
Name Type Use
Zeus Master-slave telemanipulator General, cardiothoracic, and gynaecological surgery (BMJ 2007)
Endoassist Active camera MAS camera manipulation (synchronised to surgeon's head movements) (BMJ 2007)
Fips endoarm Active camera Minimal access surgery camera manipulation (finger ring joystick controlled) (BMJ 2007)
AESOP Active camera Minimal access surgery camera manipulation (voice controlled) (BMJ 2007)
Minerva Active surgical Stereotactic neurosurgery (BMJ 2007)
Acrobot Semi-active surgical (synergistic) Prosthetic knee implantation (BMJ 2007)
CASPAR Active surgical Prosthetic knee implantation (BMJ 2007)
Robodoc Active surgical Prosthetic hip implantation (BMJ 2007)
Probot Active surgical Resection of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BMJ 2007)
Inch-Worm Active autonomous Colonoscopy (BMJ 2007)
Da Vinci Master-slave telemanipulator General, cardiothoracic, and gynaecological surgery (BMJ 2007)
A table listing numerous robots, their type, and their use.