The European Commission funded a project called ROBOCAST which created a robotic surgical device that has movements ten times steadier than a human’s hand during a surgery. This would allow it to perform the most delicate of brain surgeries, even more what can do now and particularly for treating tumors, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, and Tourette’s syndrome. Particularly, it essentially shrinks the surgeon’s hand tremors to nothing.
Like other robots, it is guided by the surgeon and has thirteen different types of movement compared to only four available to human hands during minimally invasive surgery now. For example, during laparoscopies where surgeons make a small incision and insert the scope/tool(s) through it. This particularly lowers the infection risk and recovery time, as well as other complications such as bleeding risk.
So far this robot has only been tested on dummies through what is called “keyhole neurosurgery.” This surgery is when the probe goes into a tiny hole in the skull to perform the surgery. It will allow for more risky and dangerous surgeries which would not be possible with the human hand.
HOWEVER, recall recently my posts relating to robot surgeries. One post recounted a surgery where the robot punctured a patient’s intestines and caused massive complications and infection problems. Another was the last post or two where the robot malfunctioned and could not be restarted! What happens when the robot breaks down in a keyhole surgery at a very delicate part of the patient’s brain? The probe would have to blindly be removed by the staff, and therefore create more dangers then the physician doing it themselves!
I understand that this can be used for high-risky surgeries where we cannot possibly perform the surgery due to our own human limitations, and the robot makes it possible (i.e. the steadiness of the tools). And for that, it is GREAT. I just do not want to see a reliance on these machines for surgeries that COULD be performed with a surgeon’s hand as opposed to the machine’s probe. There are too many risks and dangerous already between the surgeon and the patient, why add another element of risk between the surgeon and patient when it is not necessary?
But what do you think? I would love to hear from you! I welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at [email protected] . You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.