What do people picture when they think of robots? Do they think of CP3O or R2D2, both of which could communicate and move around? How about one like the exterminate ones in The Terminator? They were not only life like they could out think humans. They had tools built right into their arms and hands that could do very dexterous moves. Now, what do people think of when they hear that one option they have to fix their arteries in their heart is robotic heart surgery? Perhaps somewhere in the far future the doctor will actually have access to a robot that can think about the surgery and what needs to be done but for right now it is far less romantic and futuristic. It is a very practical and methodical machine that translates the surgeon's movements into a precise machine.
The da Vinci robot system used for heart surgery and other surgery consists of a console that is ergonomically designed so the surgeon operates with precision movements that control a proprietary instrument that moves with more dexterity than the human wrist. These movements are filtered so there is no hand shake and faultlessly translated into accurate movements resulting in the advanced surgical process. The four interactive robotic arms hold more than just surgical tools. There is a light and an endoscopic camera that enables excellent three dimensional images of the tissue planes and critical anatomy. These images can be seen by the surgeon and the entire operating team. This audio visual system enhances the ability of the entire operating team to communicate in ways previously nonexistent.
If a person in the Midwest were to need a triple bypass in Illinois they would find the capability exists. It is actually becoming established throughout the world. According to those who have used the technology it is truly revolutionary. The robot is being used for a range of procedures, from mitral-valve repair to coronary bypass surgery. No longer does a heart surgery patient need to have their chest cut wide open. Now through a small incision on the chest the robot can do what used to take a much wider and more invasive operation to do. Some of the benefits resulting from this surgery include reduced trauma to the body, reduced blood loss, less post-operative pain and discomfort, less risk of infection, a shorter hospital stay, faster recovery and less scarring. Due to the superior instrument dexterity of this robot and the minimally invasive surgery patients are greatly benefitting. Not only does the patient benefit but the doctor, the operating team and the hospital also benefit. Many doctors and hospital administrators believe this is just the beginning of a new way of performing delicate surgeries. The benefits to the patients regarding the healing process and the fact that it is minimally invasive are very enticing.