Health Watch - Cancer Advances: Robot-Assisted Surgery

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This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about advances in the fight against cancer. Surgery to remove tumors is one way of treating cancer, but the surgery can be painful and lead to complications. New technology is improving the way cancer surgery is done.

A four-armed robot controlled by a human surgeon using a joystick is helping make cancer surgery less difficult and painful for patients. Dr. J. Michael DiMaio, a thoracic surgeon at
UT Southwestern Medical Center, recently used this robot to remove a lung tumor from a cancer patient. He says the robot allows the procedure to be done with smaller incisions, which decreases the amount of pain the patient experiences and shortens the hospital stay after surgery. The robot offers easier access to the lung without using rib spreaders, with more flexibility and rotation than standard tools. It also gives surgeons improved visibility during the procedure.

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February 2010


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