Robot-assisted surgery has been around since 1985, and has been growing in popularity since it was approved by the FDA in 2000. The DaVinci system, the first one to gain such approval, allows surgeons to sit comfortably at a computer console and work with computer-driven tools using an enlarged screen showing the tools at work in the patient’s body.
Surgeons have told us that the procedures are less tiring, so they can perform more surgeries in less time. They’re less invasive and lead to better outcomes, they say. They allow greater precision.
A new study calls those claims into question.
A review of studies
Looking at all randomized controlled trials in abdominal pelvic surgery, the researchers found no “clear advantage.” Robot-assisted surgeries weren’t faster. They didn’t consistently reduce complications (though 10% of the studies showed a lower rate of complications).
One observer suggested that robot-assisted surgery was basically a marketing tactic.
Note that 10% of the studies did show a lower rate of complications. However, fewer complications is not actually one of the selling points of robot-assisted surgery — if we go along with the idea that it’s marketing device.
Benefits of automation
Automation generally provides a more consistent outcome with less waste, and protects human workers from working conditions that may be dangerous or unhealthy.
Robot-assisted surgery requires smaller incisions, so it is less painful and has faster recovery times. That’s worth the change for many patients. We could call that less waste.
Robot-assisted surgery also protects surgeons from working conditions that can lead to back pain and fatigue. From the point of view of the patient, this is another good thing. A surgeon who can see better and is not distracted by discomfort is a better surgeon.
So often the value of things depends on how you measure them.
The value of Rexroth motion control lines in its power, precision, and reliability.
But reliability can be a mixed blessing. Since Rexroth motion control systems so rarely break down, you probably don’t have engineers on the floor who are experienced at trouble shooting Rexroth machinery.
Fortunately, we have the experience you need. We’re specialists in Rexroth electric industrial motion control, from legacy parts to the latest components. Call us first when you need service or support.