Robotic Plastic Surgeries Explained
Almost everyone thinks robots are pretty cool right? Think about the new Ironman Three movie, pretty cool. What about iRobot and all those other ones? Also cool? How about a robot that performs your plastic surgery? Robotics is a very modern technology and almost everything is automated with the help of robots. Over the past ten years they have been used in the urology and gynecology departments to aid in procedures. However, robotic equipment could actually benefit the plastic surgery industry greatly. Think about all the ads you see for children with cleft lips. Those surgeries could be performed remotely by world class surgeons’ right from their very home. This would help alleviate the health care disparities that are rampant across the world. In fact, at UCLA they are currently developing a tactile response mechanism for surgeons at their Center for Advanced Surgical and Interventional Technology (CASIT) research laboratories. This tactile response would allow surgeons to better gauge the pressure with which they applying to the patient.
Dr. Jesse Selber, an assistant professor of plastic surgery at MD Anderson Cancer Center, has been using the da Vinci surgical system technology in order to perform breast cancer reconstruction surgeries. He has been developing these techniques since 2008. During typical breast reconstruction surgery a large incision is made in the patients back to harvest latissmus dorsi muscle. This muscle is used to reconstruct the new breast muscle. With the robot, Dr. Selber does not have to cut into the patient’s back, which speeds recovery time. The robot instead is able to use optical and precision guiding techniques in order to reach the muscles without the back incision.
In addition to this application, the robot can be used to perform microsurgery in which very small blood vessels are connected together. Without this robot the normal human being would not be able to perform this. It’s the advanced technology and 3D precision optics which allows this surgery to be performed. Other general surgeries will also benefit similarly. The robot will make smaller incisions than the average surgeon and have higher mobility that the surgeon. This leads to less scaring and increased recovery time, which is the ultimate goal of advancing the field of medicine. In the next 20-30 years it could be very possible to have fully remote and automated surgeries where surgeons perform work from their home offices.