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Robotic surgery is no better than traditional surgery, unless performed by skilled surgeons


Key points from article :

Robotic-assisted surgery is an operative technique whereby the surgeon performs maneuvers to create surgical dissections.

Tiny mechanical robotic arms reach areas unattainable by human hands or even by human-guided instruments.

Offers possibility of smaller incisions with easier recovery, less pain, and quicker return to activities.

A study published in Annals of Internal Medicine reviewed 50 articles (n = 5,000 patients).

Four studies showed a 10% reduction in complications in robotic-assisted surgical procedure.

A majority of the studies showed no difference in complications, surgical time, or outcomes based on technique.

Risks of death in the two years following each surgery were in 3-5% range.

Converting from a robotic/laparoscopic procedure to an open were in 10% range.

In some studies, robotic-assisted surgeries took 30 minutes and one hour longer than laparoscopic and open surgeries, respectively.

The key is that the person who can use the robot to enhance surgical technique, not replace it.

Despite huge benefits, robot-assisted surgery may increase complications - finds new study

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Internal medicine journal.