In otolaryngology, the da Vinci Surgical System, the only surgical robot approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is currently used to excise cancers of the oropharynx transorally, to perform transaxillary thyroidectomies and to treat sleep apnea. But are these approaches scientifically sound? Is the robotic approach truly better than traditional treatment? In some cases, at least, the answer seems to be yes.
On paper, robotic surgery offers several advantages over traditional surgery. The robot provides 3-D visualization of the surgical field, mitigation of surgeon tremor, advanced magnification and increased range of motion (Open Access Surgery. 2010;3:99-107).
“When you’re working through a laryngoscope, the instrumentation is limited by the physical configuration of the distance from your hand to the tips of the instrument. With the robot, it’s as if your whole arm is in the wound,” Dr. Eibling said.| ← Previous | | | Next → | Single Page