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Things to know about Robotic Surgery

Things to know about Robotic Surgery

Can we say that robotic surgery is a revolution in the world of medicine?

It can be said because every new technology adds value to the quality of life. As Ege University, we think this is very important because we want to provide more comfortable health care with our innovative perspective and academic responsibility.

What were patients doing before robotic surgery?

Actually, robotic surgery is not so different from closed surgery techniques. We are successfully performing the technique called “Laparoscopy” for many years at Ege University. We are also capable of performing high-level surgery techniques. As you know, in the closed surgery technique, the observation of the abdominal cavity is performed using a camera thru the belly button and aiming to operate thru the small incisions on the side of the abdomen. But today’s technology allows us to perform surgery on almost any gynecological disease without any incisions. Also, Robotic technology is also used in laparoscopy, providing great help. What kind of benefits does it provide? Now we can work with more detailed and larger imaging, perform detailed operations and reach to harder-to-reach areas which cannot be reached using normal laparoscopy, mimicking the movement of our hand and wrist while operating. The Robotic Surgery also reduces the risk of the procedure because we can see important things that we are not capable to see before. The nerves might not be seen during a Laparoscopic surgery but with robotic surgery, we can see and avoid damaging much thinner nerves and veins. It was not possible to see or avoid damaging them before robotic surgery.

Does it shorten the time of the procedure?

In fact, laparoscopy and robotic surgery have similar time lengths. Attaching the robot to the patient takes time but it is possible to make up the time loss using the robot. Both procedures require almost has the same amount of time.

Doctor, is there an increase in the number of patients?

The amount of time spend during the procedure and the rest time needed after it plays a major role in this situation. The amount of time spent during the procedure is almost the same in both procedures. But the rest period is significantly different. Nowadays, the patient’s comfort and the rest time required after the procedure is very important. Less healing time after the process allows patients to get back to their lives as efficient as it is possible. The Robotic Surgery offers a shorter healing period compared to normal laparoscopy and it makes the robotic surgery preferable while increasing the number of our patients.

First of all, the patients can get back on their feet and go home the next day after the surgery. They experience less pain on the healing period and they can go back to work within a week. This allows patients to feel better and it is a great advantage. Essentially, loss of workforce is an important factor on western civilizations.

Do the doctors or the robots perform the surgery?

Actually, nothing has changed. Doctors are still performing the surgery. Robots only provide help during surgery. So, as a good and experienced surgeon, we can perform successful procedures using robotic technology.

Are you using the robot as your hand?

Exactly. Imagine it like a remotely controlled system. What we had done before was performing the surgery with the help of different instruments simply by operating them with our hands. The instruments were not technologically advanced ones like “Da Vinci”. In open surgery, you can use the movement of your fingers or wrists but in Laparoscopy, you cannot while you are operating. Thanks to this advanced instrument called “Da Vinci”, we can now operate delicately using the instrument’s 540 ° movement capability. As a perspective of a surgeon, you just use the control console of the device and operate using the joysticks without even actually touching the patient. While operating, you are seeing the operation zone in 3D like you are actually inside the body. The technology it offers is absolutely amazing.

Which is the most challenging surgery in your branch?

We had problems operating the overweight and obese patients. In these situations, the operating zone is quite large and it is really hard to stand by the patient because of the excessive weight. The robotic technology offers many advantages including operating in these kinds of patients. Operating on obese patients without robotic instruments is challenging because the incisions are quite larger compared to normal patients. Larger incisions mean longer healing process. But a closed surgery with the help of robotic instruments which requires only tiny incisions can make a huge difference. As a result, it will take the same amount of time for healing as normal patients and the patient can be discharged for home rest within the next day.

Is “Da Vinci” reduces the risks of operation for patients with diabetes?

Of course. Because there are tiny incisions instead of huge incisions and scars, the healing process is very fast. Apart from that, it is also useful for Cancer Surgeries. Especially in Gynecologic Cancers such as ovarian cancer and uterine cancer, we can perform successful operations because we can see better with the help of “Da Vinci”. This is also a considerable advantage of robotic surgery.

When did you start the “Da Vinci” Project?

The story started 2.5 years ago. It is a strategic plan asking the question “What should be improved technologically in the University Hospital?”. At the beginning of this project, we established different committees inside the medical faculty. Having a technologically improved device in a single branch and working in a limited area might be functional but we were aiming to work in multiple systems which operate together. Because of that, we attended several meetings with the presence of different surgical branches. We have set an agenda for ourselves, especially considering the most successful branches in the world. As a first step, we now offer surgical operations on 3 surgical branches: Gynecology, Urology, and General Surgery. The second step is including the other surgical units into our operations. And the last step will be starting as a teaching hospital based on our academic experience at Ege University. Our most important goal is to start teaching with our experienced academicians while offering surgical operations on 3 different branches.

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