International Conference and Exhibition on Surgery & Transplantation during November 26-28, 2012 at Hilton San Antonio Airport, USA
From the archive: Robotic surgery safer, cheaper
Robot-assisted surgery is both safer for patients and more cost-effective for hospitals than the conventional way of going under the knife, conclude two new studies by researchers at the Jewish General Hospital.
Once the stuff of science fiction, robotic surgery is now increasingly commonplace in Montreal operating rooms. It’s being used to perform prostate, bariatric and certain types of cardiac surgery, among other procedures.
For the two studies, researchers at the Jewish General evaluated the clinical outcomes of patients following robotic surgery for uterine, endometrial and cervical cancer. They also discovered that the rate of complications and outcomes between elderly and younger patients virtually disappeared when they underwent surgery performed by robotic arms manipulated by surgeons siting behind a computer console.
“It’s extremely beneficial for the patient,” said Dr. Walter Gotlieb, chief of gynecologic oncology at the JGH Segal Cancer Centre, and one of the co-authorsof thestudies.
“They can go home usually the next day, have very little pain and even the most complex cases -elderly patients – do very well.”
In a study published in the Journal of Robotic Surgery, Gotlieb and his colleagues compared the cost to the hospital of performing an open radical hysterectomy with a robotic radical hysterectomy.
They calculated that the average cost of the traditional surgical method was $11,764, including hospital accommodation, the fees for the surgeon and anesthetist, medications as well as other expenses.
By comparison, the robot-assisted procedure cost an average of $9,613, including the amortization expense of the expensive equipment. (A surgical robot can cost from $1.5 million to $4 million).
The researchers calculated that if the robot were used on a high-volume basis, the average cost per surgery would drop to $8,898.
In the other study, published in the International Journal of Gynecological Cancer, the researchers compared the outcomes of 100 patients who underwent robotic surgery for endometrial cancer. They compared one group of patients above the age of 70 with another group below that age.
They found that the health status of the two groups was virtually the same after the surgery. Surprisingly, patients in the older group, on average, needed 12.9 days to return to their physical activities compared with 18.2 days for the slightly younger group.
And both groups reported virtually the same overall satisfaction with the robotic surgery.
So what is it about the robot that makes the surgery so much safer and cheaper?
Robotic hands are steadier than those of a human. Robotic arms also possess seven degrees of freedom or movement compared with a human arm’s four degrees -up, down, left and right. This enables the surgeon to operate with much greater flexibility.
And during minimally invasive surgery -which involves making small incisions to insert a fibre-optic camera as well as the surgical instruments -the surgeon has greater control, Gotlieb said.
Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/health/From+archive+Robotic+surgery+safer+cheaper/6619510/story.html#ixzz1uxF58Q5c