Robotic surgery: an innovation

Shannon Medical Centre has been recognized as the center of excellence for robotic surgery. This accreditation acknowledges Shannon’s commitment and high-quality patient care and safety delivery standards.

In this undated photo, Rob Surgical announce their Hybrid Surgery Robot at the Mobile World Congress 2023 held from 27 February to 2 March in Barcelona. (Photo: Surgical Robotics Technology via Agency)

The idea of robotics used for surgery began more than 50 years ago, but the actual use started in the late 1980s with Robodoc, the orthopaedic image-guided system developed by Hap Paul, DVM, and William Bargar, MD, for use in prosthetic hip replacement.

Robotic surgery has become increasingly popular in recent years. Robotic surgery, also called robot-assisted surgery, allows doctors to perform complex procedures with more precision, flexibility and control than is possible with conventional techniques. Robotic surgery is usually associated with minimally invasive procedures performed through tiny incisions. It is also sometimes used in specific traditional open surgical procedures.

Many conditions have been treated successfully in various surgeries, such as abdominal, colorectal, general, gynaecology, heart, spine, Endometriosis, head and neck, thoracic and urologic surgery.

The most widely used clinical robotic surgical system includes a camera arm and mechanical arms with surgical instruments attached. The surgeon controls the exo-skeletal appendage while seated at a computer console near the operating table. The console gives the surgeon a high-definition, magnified, 3D view of the surgical site. The surgeon leads other team members who assist during the operation.

 Benefits of Robotic-Assisted Surgery

There are numerous benefits to having a Robotic-assisted surgery that ranges from shorter recovery time to the surgeon having a better visualization, leading to a more precise surgery. 

Other benefits of robotic-assisted surgery include:

  • Fewer complications during surgery
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Less risk of infection
  • Less blood loss and fewer blood transfusions
  • Less pain
  • Faster recovery
  • Quicker return to the daily routine.

Researchers are consistently doing studies on developing and sharing new robotic surgery techniques and evaluating their effectiveness.

Cost of Robotic Surgery

A single robot costs around $2 million. Some of the attachments that go on the arms are disposable. And robotic surgery generally costs anywhere from $3,000 to $6,000 more than traditional laparoscopic surgery. Various factors, such as purchasing the robot by the healthcare institution, maintenance costs, disposable materials, and longer operative times, make robotic surgeries expensive.

Leading Companies

Among the leading robotics suppliers are Intuitive Surgical, Stryker, Medtronic, Johnson & Johnson, Ekso Bionics, CMR Surgical, Globus Medical, MicroPort Scientific, ReWalk Robotics, and Smith & Nephew are the leading robotic surgery companies.


Many misbeliefs surround the use of robots in the medical field, specifically in surgeries. One such misconception is that the procedure is programmed, and the robot performs the operation on its own, automatically, without any human involvement. In reality, robot surgery is an operation that the surgeon performs aided by a robot system through which he controls 100 per cent of what happens.


Robotic surgery technology is projected to shift from semi-autonomous to autonomous robots, increasing the market share of autonomous robots from 43.8% to 46.9% by 2029.

The percentage of surgical procedures performed by robotic technology in the United States increased from 0% to 19% from 2012 to 2018.

Common Use of Robotic Surgeries

Robotic surgery in general surgery applications had the largest market share (20.4%) in 2018, followed by Orthopedic Surgery and Gynecology.

Furthermore, robotic surgery is increasingly being used for pediatric patients, with urological procedures being the most common (51%), followed by gynaecological procedures (22%) and oncological surgeries (12%).

Robotic surgery is a rapidly growing field of medicine that has the potential to revolutionize the way we perform surgery. The statistics show that robotic surgery is becoming increasingly popular, with the number of procedures performed each year increasing exponentially.

The safety and accuracy of robotic surgery are also improving, with fewer complications and better outcomes than traditional surgery.

With advances in haptic feedback, machine learning/artificial intelligence (AI) and training, robotics will continue transforming modern surgery over the coming years.

Publish : 2023-03-27 18:05:00

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