Friday, February 17, 2006

Training Session in Robotic Surgery

Today I took a plane with my colleague, Dr. Castillón to participate in a training session on Robotic Radical Prostatectomy with the Da Vinci system. This system allows the surgeon to operate from a surgical station, as in the photograph, and provides 3D visualization of the operative field inside the abdomen. This is the state of the art treatment for localised prostate cancer and it allows to obtain spectacular oncological results, as well as high rates of urinary continence and sexual potency preservation after this operation, that are not obtainable with open surgery.

We are trying to achieve to adopt this technology at the Instituto de Cirugía Urológica Avanzada, in collaboration with Hospital USP San José from Madrid. The problem is the high cost of this equipment, so if there is any benefactor reading this and wanting to help us, we will be happy to hear from him. We want to be able to offer this treatment for prostate cancer patients in Madrid. We are starting our training in order to be able to operate our patients soon.
This robot is intuitive and allows the surgeon to conduct surgical operations with safety and precision from the very beginning.

This is the robot and the four arms, it will be position by the patient and the robot will manipulate the surgical instruments. It is a slave robot, it obeys the movements of the surgeon hands, that holds two very sophisticated Joysticks with his hands. The robot even corrects tremor of the surgeon's hands. 3D vision inside the abdomen helps visualizing tissues with unseen quality of image and enhancement.

The surgeon is relaxed, sitting in the surgical console, and an assistant changes the instruments of the robot when the surgeon requests it. It is no doubt the way surgery will follow in the future.

It is a fact, medicine is becoming more and more technologic, and technology is expensive. The best doctors in the future will not necessarily be those who study more, or those with more natural ability and dexterity for surgery, but those who have access to the latest technology, that will be very costly, but that will offer unparalelled results in the treatment of urologic diseases.

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