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Technology in Modern Surgery

Robotics & Technology in Modern Surgery

The Cutting-Edge Companions: Robotics & Technology in Modern Surgery

Hey there, health buffs and tech enthusiasts! Ever wondered what it would be like if your surgeon had superpowers? Well, it’s not exactly comic book stuff, but the world of medicine is not far behind with its sidekicks—robots and advanced tech! Let’s dive into the fascinating world of robotics & technology in modern surgery and discover how these advancements are not just changing but revolutionizing surgeries across the globe.

The Dawn of Robotic Surgery

Imagine you’re watching a sci-fi movie where robots perform complex tasks with unnerving precision. Now, bring that imagery a little closer to reality—into an operating room. Here, robotic arms, controlled by a human surgeon, make meticulous cuts more accurately than a human hand ever could. This isn’t the future; it’s happening right now.

Robotic surgery kicked off in earnest with the introduction of the da Vinci Surgical System, which has been widely used since the late 1990s. This tech marvel allows surgeons to perform a myriad of complex procedures with more precision, flexibility, and control than conventional techniques.

Why Robots? The Precision Players in Surgery

Robots in surgery are like having a highly skilled assistant who’s had a dozen coffees but never shakes. They reduce human error and increase precision, particularly in tight spaces. Here’s how they are making a difference:

  • Minimally Invasive Procedures: Smaller incisions mean fewer complications and faster recovery. Robotics excel in making tiny, precise movements, ideal for minimally invasive procedures.
  • Enhanced Visualization: Robotic systems provide high-definition, 3D views of the surgical site, magnifying the area up to 10 times. This allows for unparalleled clarity and detail during surgery.
  • Increased Range of Motion: Robotic arms can rotate and bend far beyond the capabilities of the human wrist, giving surgeons the ability to operate in ways that would otherwise be physically impossible.

Broader Applications: Not Just for Complex Procedures

While the initial hype was about using robotics for complex heart or neurological surgeries, their application has broadened significantly. Today, robotics is used in orthopaedics, gynaecology, and even in performing delicate eye surgeries. The versatility of robotic systems makes them invaluable across various surgical specialties.

Integration of AI and Machine Learning

The integration of AI and machine learning is like giving surgical robots a brain upgrade. These technologies enhance robotic precision through predictive analytics and real-time decision support. Machine learning algorithms can help robots learn from each surgery, improving their accuracy and efficiency over time. Imagine a robot that gets better and smarter after each surgery—now, that’s a real game-changer!

The Human Touch: Surgeons Still in Control

If you’re imagining a robot going rogue in surgery, let’s dial it back to reality. Surgeons are not being replaced; they’re being empowered. Robotic systems are tools that enhance a surgeon’s skills. Surgeons control these devices, guiding every action through a console. The technology extends the surgeon’s capabilities but doesn’t replace the critical need for human expertise, decision-making, and adaptability.

Training and Adaptation

With great power comes great responsibility, and also—a steep learning curve. Surgeons undergo rigorous training to master these technologies. Hospitals and medical institutions often collaborate with technology providers to train their surgical teams, ensuring they are adept at using these advanced systems.

The Challenges Ahead

Despite their benefits, the widespread adoption of robotics and technology in surgery faces several challenges:

  • High Costs: Advanced surgical robots are expensive, not just to purchase but also to maintain.
  • Technical Complexity: Operating these machines requires specific training and skill, which can be a barrier in regions with less access to resources.
  • Ethical and Legal Concerns: As with any new technology, robotic surgery brings up questions about liability and ethics, especially concerning machine error.

Looking to the Future

As we gaze into the crystal ball of healthcare, the role of robotics and technology in surgery looks bright and promising. Ongoing advancements in AI, machine learning, and even augmented reality are set to further transform surgical practices. The potential for remote surgeries could bring expert care to the most remote parts of the world, breaking geographical barriers to healthcare access.


In the ever-evolving narrative of healthcare, robotics and technology have secured a chapter that continues to grow with each surgical procedure they enhance. From providing precision to offering safer, less invasive options, these technological marvels are redefining what it means to go under the knife. As we continue to innovate and integrate, the fusion of human skill and robotic precision will set new standards in surgical care, making surgeries safer, quicker, and more efficient. So, next time you think about surgery, remember that in the theatre of modern medicine, robots are more than just assistants; they are revolutionary heroes changing the face of surgery, one procedure at a time.

Robotics in surgery

While humanoid autonomous robots will take a while to become a part of our lives, the other parts of the field of robotics are already becoming a reality. Even better: they are helping to save lives.

There is a special kind of surgery called “minimally invasive procedure”, which are surgeries that, instead of opening large sections of your body, use incisions of smaller size, being more localized and useful for specific problems, such as removing tissue, catheterization, fixing eye problems such as myopia, among others.

However, doing such precise procedures can be challenging even for the most experienced surgeons, exactly due to the precision they need. Depending on what is being done, a mistake may lead to the need to make open surgery.

That’s where the robots come in.

The robot itself

Machines can be very precise, and scientists and engineers are always working to make them ever more precise. The field of machining, for example, which handles machines designed to cut metal following blueprints, has some experience with dealing with precision.

The average milling machine has a precision of about 0.005 inches (0.1 mm), but there are much more precise machines available in case a project needs one. In this case, however, if the milling process does not make the product close enough to specification, there may be some other techniques to solve that.

With robotic surgery it is not so simple. So the robot must be made to be as precise as possible, within the realm of possibility. Every machine can have problems with misalignment, so the engineers involved must work to minimize it. Software and hardware bugs can be deadly, so safety measures must be in place.

A lot can go wrong, so it must be really well made. Meaning these robots can be pretty costly.

Controlling the robot

However, don’t think that these kinds of robots are a kind of “auto-doc”. They are always manually controlled by the surgeon, who is normally in the same room as the robot or close to it (but that may change with investments in remote surgery).

However, the robot’s precision isn’t tied only to its own movements. So much precision would actually be detrimental if the robot actually reproduced every movement the surgeon did on a one-to-one ratio. Instead, there are a series of filters that prevent it from reproducing movements that are too small or too quick, such as tremors.

Instead of using controllers such as “joysticks”, the robot’s controllers aims to simulate the way the surgeon would hold any usual tool, such as a scalpel, meaning the robot’s arm and tools can be gently moved using only two or three fingers, allowing the surgeons to also apply their muscle memory and surgical experience into the procedure. The system also gives access to a full 3D view of the site where the surgery will be done along with any other information that may be needed. You may also know: Crime Syndicates


Robotic surgery involves many of the risks of other minimally invasive procedures, namely a small risk of infection, aside from the small risk of malfunctions. However, it is still a rather new technology, and surgeons haven’t completely adapted to it. It has a bit of a steep learning curve and some machines do not have haptic feedback, that is, the surgeon may not feel he touched the patient when doing so.

As with any surgery, it comes with its risks involved, but with the disadvantage that manual surgery is already much more widespread and easier to get experienced in. As robotic surgery can be much more expensive, surgeons will have more problems to get used to it, along with the learning curve that the hardware comes with.

Fortunately, we can be sure that those problems won’t remain for long. Companies and universities are always working to improve the state of the art, and with robotic surgery it is no exception. We can expect the technology to become cheaper and safer in the near future, and maybe even automated.