Let’s start with this safety: This doesn’t seem to be a stumbling block, according to Rorda: “I once had the feeling that it gave an error message on startup, and that one arm was broken. Then we did the operation manually, we replaced the arm and were able to use the machine back in the day Next. I also think the danger is not so much in the hardware and software, but in how people deal with it. The human factor is the main reason why sometimes things don’t go well.”
Ruurda herself has more than twenty years of experience in robotic surgery. “I still remember the first operation as it was yesterday. We were the first in the Netherlands, in August 2000.” At first it was doubtful whether it could really add anything, but soon the added value became apparent. “Nowadays, for example, working robots have three working arms. Thus the surgeon can help himself, as it were, and therefore sometimes no longer needs an additional assistant at the table.”
The advantage is that the operation can often be performed with greater accuracy. “This is very special: because the camera is very stable, you can zoom in more, and perform operations in more detail. For example, a urologist sees the nerves of the prostate better, and therefore can also better preserve them.”
Patients often recover faster due to this more delicate process with less damage. That’s good news if you think about the nurse shortage: “If we could shorten the number of sleep days, that would be a huge profit.”
As a surgeon, are you now at home with that joystick behind the screen? “It is technically quite possible now, operations have already been done remotely, with a complete perimeter in between. But in practice, you are just sitting in the operating room. Especially because you still want to connect with your team, so you can communicate with them easily. “.
Will surgical robots be able to perform surgery on their own in the distant future? “In some parts of the process, you can automate things. Drill a screw, or drill a canal in the ear. That’s more difficult for soft tissue operations. It’s constantly changing as you work on it. I don’t see it coming that close yet.”
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