Health Watch — Surgical Advances: Robot Surgery

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications  and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

New technologies and techniques are making surgery safer and more effective. This week on Health Watch, we’ll talk about new approaches to surgery — including some that sound like they’re right out of science fiction.

For instance, how about a robot that performs surgery? A four-armed robot named DaVinci is part of the surgical team at UT Southwestern Medical Center. One arm holds a miniature camera while the other arms hold surgical instruments. A human surgeon controls the robot, but the robot surgeon doesn’t tire like a human does and doesn’t shake or tremble. Dr. Daniel Scott, director of the Southwestern Center for Minimally Invasive Surgery, says the robot surgeon is more precise than humanly possible. That makes it valuable for particularly delicate procedures. With the robot surgeon, surgery that would have required a full incision can be done with only several tiny slits.

Next: More about the robot surgeon.    


February 2007

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