Surgical side effects cut with robotics
ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN, Aug. 5 2008) — As 3D images illuminate the viewfinder, a joystick delicately maneuvers a pair of robotic arms. It may sound like a video game, but Dr. Nikhil Shah is actually performing cancer surgery.
In this case, the surgeon is removing a man’s prostate gland. Robotic surgery is a growing trend in treating prostate cancer. The number of cases have increased sevenfold in the past four years, from 10,000 in 2004 to a projected 70,000 in 2008, according to Intuitive Surgical Inc., the creators of the robotic device. The advantages of robotics — fewer side effects and quicker recovery times in many patients — have led to increased use for other surgeries, including hysterectomy, kidney cancer and some heart procedures.
“At first, men think we hook up a robot and then go get some coffee, but the reality is the robot arms are a tool that I control, just like a scalpel, ” said Shah, who has performed more than 600 robotic prostatectomies at St. Joseph Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. . . (read entire article and see video)