University of Cambridge > > Cambridge Society for the Application of Research (CSAR) > “The Robot will see you now.” Has the time for surgical robots arrived?

“The Robot will see you now.” Has the time for surgical robots arrived?

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Robotic assisted surgery is poised to increase access to Minimal Access Surgery for many patients.

Minimal access surgery (MAS) brings many benefits to patients undergoing surgery: less pain, quicker return to normal activity, reduction in surgical site infections amongst others. There is now strong evidence that minimal invasive surgery has superior outcomes for this type of surgery over traditional surgery for many common procedures. Surgical complications represent a substantial burden of harm to patients and in the United States alone are estimated to cost $25 billion annually. It is estimated that more than a million patients a year die within 30 days of surgery. Despite the obvious advantages of MAS the choice of surgery is often a matter of surgeon preference with more than 50% of patients still undergoing open surgery. It is hypothesized that this is because of the difficulty in performing MAS . Robotic assisted surgery may make the acquisition of skills easier to obtain but despite this after 20 years of availability the incidence of surgery being performed robotically is only 5%. We believe that the provision of a robotic platform that is cheaper and easier to use may increase access to MAS with all its attendant benefits.

Introduction of novel medical devices brings with it the challenge of doing this ethically and without risk to patients while at the same time managing to do it as quickly as possible and keeping it affordable. This talk will describe the development of a new surgical robotic platform and the steps undertaken to introduce it safely and ethically.

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This talk is part of the Cambridge Society for the Application of Research (CSAR) series.

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