field of surgery is entering a time of great change, spurred on by remarkable
recent advances in surgical and computer technology. Computer-controlled diagnostic
instruments have been used in the operating room for years to help provide vital
information through ultrasound, computer-aided tomography (CAT), and other imaging
technologies. Only recently have robotic systems made their way into the operating
room as dexterity-enhancing surgical assistants and surgical planners, in answer
to surgeons' demands for ways to overcome the surgical limitations of minimally
invasive laparoscopic surgery.
Robotic surgical system enables surgeons to remove gallbladders and perform other
general surgical procedures while seated at a computer console and 3-D video imaging
system acrossthe room from the patient. The surgeons operate controls with their
hands and fingers to direct a robotically controlled laparoscope. At the end of
the laparoscope are advanced, articulating surgical instruments and miniature
cameras that allow surgeons to peer into the body and perform the procedures.
Now Imagine : An army ranger
is riddled with shrapnel deep behind enemy lines. Diagnostics from wearable sensors
signal a physician at a nearby mobile army surgical hospital that his services
are needed urgently. The ranger is loaded into an armored vehicle outfitted with
a robotic surgery system. Within minutes, he is undergoing surgery performed by
the physician, who is seated at a control console 100 kilometers out of harm's
The patient is saved. This
is the power that the amalgamation of technology and surgical sciences are offering
Just as computers revolutionized the latter half of the 20th century,
the field of robotics has the potential to equally alter how we live in the 21st
century. We've already seen how robots have changed the manufacturing of cars
and other consumer goods by streamlining and speeding up the assembly line.
even have robotic lawn mowers and robotic pets now. And robots have enabled us
to see places that humans are not yet able to visit, such as other planets and
the depths of the ocean. In the coming decades, we will see robots that have artificial
intelligence,coming to resemble the humans that create them. They will eventually
become self-aware and conscious, and be able to do anything that a human can.
When we talk about robots doing the tasks of humans, we often talk about the future,
but the future of Robotic surgery is already here.
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