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How Are Robots Being Used in the Operating Room?

Technological advances are making a difference in people’s lives in many ways on any given day. That applies to healthcare, too. These advances have come to the operating room, too; robotic surgery is an excellent example of this.

Why are robots used in the operating room?

Surgery can make positive differences for patients, and it can even save lives; however, it can be very invasive, and recovery can be difficult. Robotic surgery can offer numerous advantages, including decreased blood loss, less pain, quicker healing time, and shorter hospital stays. These can be major advantages for patients, especially those who have other health conditions.

In addition to offering advantages for patients, robotic surgery can offer advantages for surgeons, as well. The robot’s ‘hands’ have a high degree of dexterity, allowing surgeons to operate in very tight spaces in the body that would otherwise only be accessible through open (long incision) surgery. The result is greater visualization, enhanced dexterity, and greater precision.

Challenges with robots

This technology doesn’t come without challenges. One issue is figuring out how to teach residents effectively. In traditional surgery, the senior surgeon literally couldn’t do most of the work without constant hands-in-the-patient cooperation from the resident. However, robotic surgery, by definition, doesn’t work that way. Residents were stuck using a laparoscopic tool to remove smoke and fluids from the patient or sitting in a trainee console, watching the surgical action and waiting for a chance to operate.

Not surprisingly, problems can get magnified if a surgeon doesn’t have advanced laparoscopic surgical skills to begin with and doesn’t have full command of the device. Just as technology advances, training methods must sometimes evolve, too, to ensure that the innovations may be passed to the newest professionals in the field.

Advancements continue

As surgical residents learn to use robotic surgical equipment, advancements in the field of robotic surgical technology are emerging. Electronics continue to get smaller and smaller, which means they can be fitted into smaller and more versatile robotic arms. Further, additional companies are getting involved in the field, and they will bring their own ideas to this technology.

Where does all of this technology lead? At some point, doctors may be able to hand the scalpel over entirely – at least for simple, repetitive procedures – freeing human surgeons’ valuable time for more complex work.

Seeking a new assignment?

At 365 Healthcare Staffing Services, we specialize in the recruitment and placement of healthcare professionals in per diem, travel, and permanent assignments in healthcare facilities across the country. We know how valuable technology can be in all aspects of healthcare. Are you seeking a new assignment – in the operating room or elsewhere? We can help; give us a call at 310.436.3650 today.