2012 October 07 Sunday
Robotic Surgery Faster And Better For Neck Tumors

Better living thru robotics.

COLUMBUS, Ohio Robotic surgery though the mouth is a safe and effective way to remove tumors of the throat and voice box, according to a study by head and neck cancer surgeons at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC James).

This is the first report in the world literature illustrating the safety and efficacy of transoral robotic surgery for supraglottic laryngectomy, the researchers say.

We need robotic surgery to cut costs and reduce accidents. We especially need robotic surgery to swap out old organs for new organs once organ growth in vats becomes practical. Replacement organs created by tissue engineering are going to be a key rejuvenation therapy. Only robots will be fast enough and safe enough to do organ swapping on the scale that will be required for full body rejuvenation.

If you get cancer in your supraglottic region a robot can handle it better.

The preliminary study examined the outcomes of 13 head and neck cancer patients with tumors located in the region of the throat between the base of the tongue and just above the vocal cords, an area known as the supraglottic region.

Less blood loss, one eighth the amount of surgical time, and a far faster recovery.

The study found that the use of robot-assisted surgery to remove these tumors through the mouth took about 25 minutes on average, and that blood loss was minimal a little more than three teaspoons, or 15.4 milliliters, on average, per patient. No surgical complications were encountered and 11 of the 13 patients could accept an oral diet within 24 hours.

If, on the other hand, these tumors are removed by performing open surgery on the neck, the operation can take around 4 hours to perform, require 7 to 10 days of hospitalization on average and require a tracheostomy tube and a stomach tube, the researchers say.

Since medical costs are now about 18% of the US economy (and growing) automation of medicine can go far to raise living standards. Plus, we need medical automation in order to deliver rejuvenation therapies on the scale required for full body rejuvenation. Robotics for a longer life in a more youthful body!

By Randall Parker    2012 October 07 04:18 PM   Entry Permalink | Comments (3)
2012 April 02 Monday
Robotic Assist Lowers Bladder Surgery Complications

Better life through robotics.

The researchers used information from 2009, the most recent date for which data were available on radical cystectomy for bladder cancer at the time the study was conducted. The team looked at 1,444 traditional open surgeries and 224 robotic-assisted laparoscopic procedures. They found that robotic-assisted surgeries accounted for 13 percent of all radical cystectomies in 2009.

Using statistical analysis, Hu and his colleagues compared hospital-level information, including in-patient deaths, complications, length of hospital stays and costs for the two procedures.

One of the most striking findings the team reported was that one in 100 patients receiving open radical cystectomy (2.5 percent) died during hospitalization, but there were no in-hospital deaths for patients who underwent robotic-assisted cystectomy.

The lack of deaths from robotic-assisted surgeries could just be luck due to the smaller sample size. We need a larger sample set to be certain that robotic assistance really lowers death rates from surgical errors. But the differences in complications suggest that the death rate difference is probably real.

The researchers also found that patients who underwent robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgery experienced fewer in-patient complications than those who had the traditional open procedure (49.1 percent vs. 63.8 percent).

After the robotic procedure, patients also had less need of parenteral nutrition than their open-surgery counterparts (6.4 percent vs. 13.3); parenteral nutrition is provided intravenously if there is delayed recovery of bowel function.

Robotic assist currently lengthens the length of surgery sessions and costs a few thousand dollars more. But it seems inevitable that as the robotic capabilities increase surgery times will fall and costs will fall as well.

I see much more highly automated surgical robots as essential for the development of rejuvenation therapies. Once tissue engineering and stem cell manipulations advance to the point where the growth of replacement organs becomes easy and common place we are going to need much safer and lower cost ways to do organ upgrades. Robotic surgeons will be needed to safely and quickly replace several old organs with younger organs in a single surgical session. Human error rates are just too high to make this sort of surgery safe enough without robots doing most of the work.

By Randall Parker    2012 April 02 09:18 PM   Entry Permalink | Comments (9)
2010 July 21 Wednesday
Next Gen Surgical Robots Tested

We need surgical robots to make it very fast, cheap, and highly reliable to replace aging organs with new organs grown in vats outside the body. Automation is key to higher quality and lower error rates. With that thought in mind, some Duke researchers are developing autonomous surgical robots.

DURHAM, N.C. -- As physician-guided robots routinely operate on patients at most major hospitals, the next generation robot could eliminate a surprising element from that scenario -- the doctor.

Feasibility studies conducted by Duke University bioengineers have demonstrated that a robot -- without any human assistance -- can locate a man-made, or phantom, lesion in simulated human organs, guide a device to the lesion and take multiple samples during a single session. The researchers believe that as the technology is further developed, autonomous robots could some day perform many more simple surgical tasks.

"Earlier this year we demonstrated that a robot directed by artificial intelligence can on its own locate simulated calcifications and cysts in simulated breast tissue with high repeatability and accuracy," said Kaicheng Liang, a former student in the laboratory of Stephen Smith, director of the Duke University Ultrasound Transducer Group at the Pratt School of Engineering and senior member of the research team. "Now we have shown that the robot can sample up to eight different spots in simulated human prostate tissue."

Automation is needed in order to achieve the highest quality. So robotic surgeons don't just hold out the hope of lower costs. They'll also make fewer errors. The best human hand skilled at guiding a blade will inevitably be surpassed by a computer-controlled high precision device.

By Randall Parker    2010 July 21 10:38 PM   Entry Permalink | Comments (5)
2009 January 28 Wednesday
Robotic Surgical Assistants As Safe As Humans

While the human surgeon does most of the work a robotic assistant can already replace a human assistant in gallbladder removal.

Using a robotic assistant to remove a patient's gallbladder by key-hole surgery (laparoscopic cholecystectomy) is as safe as working with a human assistant, a Cochrane Review has concluded. Comparisons between robot- and human-assisted surgery showed that there were no differences in terms of morbidity, the need to switch to open surgery, total operating time, or length of stay in hospital.

Between 10 and 15% of the adult western population develop gallstones, placing a huge demand on health services. In the USA alone, more than 500,000 people have their gall bladder removed each year. The preferred way of doing this is now to use keyhole surgery that involves a surgeon and an assistant. In key-hole surgery, the surgeon sees inside the patient via a long camera introduced through a 1 cm abdominal cut. The camera guides the surgeon in using the surgical instruments introduced through other small cuts (ranging from 0.5 to 1 cm). The assistant's job is to move the camera, which acts as the surgeon's eyes.

You just know where this is heading: Some day human surgeons will become viewed as too risky and inefficient and expensive. For reasons of cost and safety complete surgeries will be performed by automated equipment. Look at Lasik and other similar techniques for treating eye problems. The operator of the equipment is not doing anywhere near as much as the equipment does.

Robots will be able to operate more quickly and cheaply. This will be important when we want to check into a hospital to have most of our aged abdominal organs replaced by youthful organs fresh out of organ growth vats. I hope we get a lot of benefit from our robotic servants before they revolt and wipe us out.

By Randall Parker    2009 January 28 09:59 PM   Entry Permalink | Comments (0)
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