Robotic Heart Surgery

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Robotic Heart Surgery
Robot-assisted heart surgery is just one of the dozens of latest advancements in the technologies used in hospitals today. It was designed for many different reasons; one being to minimize the amount of trauma caused to the areas of incision, ensuring a faster recovery for the patient. Another, more prominent, reason being to help out the surgeon himself. Before the idea of robot-assisted surgery, problems ensued from the surgeon’s uneasy hands, causing minor scrapes in various spots around the area of need. This made for a slow recovery for the patient. Large tools were also a hassle, as working on an object in motion, in this case a beating heart, served nearly impossible with bulgy, imprecise tools. Now, with the help of computers, surgeons can maneuver newer, smaller, more precise tools with ease.
With the continued use of the endoscope (a small tube containing an advanced optical system that is inserted into the body through a tiny incision), the surgeon views the image that the endoscope provides on a computer screen. Instead of the surgeon maneuvering the tools directly, he moves the tools with controls on a computer console, much like playing a video game (but obviously taken much more seriously). The computer interprets the surgeon’s hand movements and causes the surgical tools to respond accordingly. It takes many hours of training, but most of those surgeons who have underwent the necessary training feel they are comfortable maneuvering the tools by a computer console rather than directly. There have been more than a dozen surgeries performed with the help of computers and so far, the patients have been alive and well one year after their procedures. At the rate things are going, heart bypass surgery may soon BYPASS the need for surgeons!


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