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example, if the surgeon’s hand moves five centimeters, he/she can scale the robotic hand to move only one centimeter.

Robotic technology also offers a number of advantages after surgery. Because laparoscopic surgery is minimally invasive and no large incisions are involved, robotic-assisted surgery provides numerous benefits for prostate cancer patients, including: less pain and scarring, diminished blood loss, a shorter hospital stay and reduced recovery period for a quicker return to daily activities.

The actual robot consists of a tower that manipulates instruments controlled from a console that is situated a few feet from the patient. At the console, the surgeon operates four robotic “arms?and “wrists?using hand and foot controls. One of the robotic arms holds a tiny video camera, one works as a retractor and the other two replicate the surgeon’s exact hand movements. The camera and instruments are inserted through small keyhole incisions in the patient’s abdomen. The surgeon then directs the robotic instruments to dissect the prostate gland and surrounding tissue.

Unlike standard laparoscopic approaches that require counter-intuitive movements by surgeons (whereby the surgeon must move his hand to the left in order to move the mechanical device to the right), the robotic technology affords surgeons the direct, “intuitive?control they exercise in traditional open surgical procedures, seamlessly translating their natural hand, wrist and finger movements at the console into corresponding micro-movements of laparoscopic surgical instruments inside the patient’s body.

Penn has been using fully robotic surgery for cardiac patients for the past three years and is currently studying its use for head and neck cancer surgeries. “The robotic prostate program is a continuation of Penn’s commitment to finding and applying the most precise, most benefi
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Source:University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston


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