Human hands can perform delicate tasks, but in the newest iterations of surgery, robotic tools are helping to further refine and improve surgical techniques. Here are some of the ways that robotic surgery is helping to transform vascular surgery.
Placement of valves
Robotic surgery can help surgeons to place a valve in the correct position by letting them insert an expandable valve (often known as a stent) into an artery to expand a collapsed artery. The surgeon then uses a robotic arm with a microscopic camera to push the stent until it reaches a collapsed portion and can then be triggered to expand. This limits the size of the incision as well as makes sure that the valve is positioned in the correct position, which minimises the chance of the valve being misplaced and surgery needing to be repeated to place the stent into a better position.
Laser-headed cameras now allow surgeons to target blocked arteries where plaque and other substances have built up on the artery wall and caused a blockage. The surgeon can then use a laser head to precisely 'zap' away (ablate) the blockages and get the blood flowing again. This minimises the chances of internal bleeding, as the wounds are more precise and are less likely to penetrate the walls of the artery. It is also a more effective option as the surgeon can target earlier signs of buildup and address issues quickly. This helps to minimise the numbers of times that the patients may need to have surgery, as each surgery is more effective.
In some case, a vein may no longer be functional and made need to be reconstructed. This was traditionally done by taking a vein or artery from a large area and sewing it into the area to bypass any diseased or unusable blood vessels. Robotic surgery can use micro-stitches and glue to effectively bring the new and old vessels together and maximise the chances of an effective artery bypass. This can help to get patients back on their feet quicker and help to minimise discomfort during recovery.
If you are having robotic surgery, there is no need to worry, as this surgery is usually more effective and lets you have a quicker and more comfortable recovery that using manual surgery. Why not ask your surgeon to explain more about the techniques that they use in surgery so you can understand the procedure fully?Share
19 December 2016
I have tried to quit smoking three times over the last few years, but it never really stuck. My mother just got diagnosed with lung cancer, and it's given me the wakeup call that I have been waiting for. I have quit smoking again, but this time I spoke to my doctor before I started and it's made a lot of difference. He organised some nicotine replacement products and counselling to help me quit for good this time. I have started this blog to let people know how much easier it is to quit when your doctor is helping you.