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What is Robotic Surgery?

Tulika Tandon

Why in News?

Recently, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) standardised health policies across all health insurers to even cover robotic and bariatric surgeries.

What is Bariatric Surgery?

This kind of surgery helps someone lose weight through amendments in the digestive system of the person

What is Robotics?

Robotics is the intersection of science, engineering and technology that produces machines, called robots, that substitute for (or replicate) human actions. In other words, it is an interdisciplinary sector of science and engineering dedicated to the design, construction and use of mechanical robots.

What is Robotic Surgery?

Robotic surgery is majorly a robot-assisted surgery. It allows doctors to perform various complex procedures with high precision, flexibility and control than it would be achievable with conventional techniques. 

Robotic surgery is associated with minimally invasive surgery process performed through tiny incisions. It is also sometimes used in certain traditional open surgical procedures.

Benefits of the robotic surgery

  1. The surgeon has a better view of the operation which enables him to perform it well
  2. Robotic surgeries cause less tissue damage for the patient which helps in faster recovery
  3. There are fewer chances of getting an infection when it is performed with smaller incisions
  4. Patients experience lesser pain during Robotic Surgery due to smaller incisions
  5. There is minimal blood loss in this kind of surgery which in turn means lesser blood transfusions are required
  6. Robotic surgeries allow complex surgeries to be easily done that would have been difficult with traditional methods
  7. These provide faster recovery time and fewer chances of infections
  8. The scars are less visible in this type of surgery 
  9. Robotic surgeries mean fewer complications due to surgery
  10. There is no need to stay for a long time at the hospital. 
  11. The surgeon has better flexibility and dexterity along with clearer visuals
  12. Robotic Surgery is far more precise compared to traditional surgery methods because of the instruments and the precision of the robot.

What surgeries can be done through robotic surgery?

  1. Colorectal Surgery
  2. General surgery
  3. Gynecologic surgery
  4. Heart surgery
  5. Endometriosis
  6. Head and Neck (Transoral) surgery
  7. Thoracic surgery
  8. Urologic surgery

Is Robotic Surgery Safe?

Robotic Surgery is safe when the surgeon has been given proper training to control the robotic surgical system and he is given information about how to use it thoroughly.

Robotic Surgery: Indian History

In 2018, a telerobotic coronary intervention was performed by Padma Shree, cardiologist Dr Tejas Patel on a middle-aged woman in Gujarat for the first experimental coronary stenting.

India is also affordable for such surgery unlike in the U.S., U.K., and Canada. India provides with easy access to robotic surgery in its hospitals without compromising on the quality of services and infrastructure.

Way Forward:

Although the progress of this field in India has been slow, the hopes for the rise in this field are high. Government is expected to bring out some course in the medical field to teach this type of surgery apart from traditional methods. Moreover, people need to be more aware of this process as many still think it would be the robots performing the surgery on humans here. 

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