With robotic-assisted surgery, the surgeon’s hands and eyes still guide the instruments with many advantages for the patient. McLeod Thoracic Surgeon C. Wayne Holley, MD, explains the many patient advantages, when he performs robotic-assisted lung surgery:
Here’s an overview of Dr. Holley’s remarks:
For the patient, robotic-assisted lung surgery is curative for the lung cancer just the same as open procedures. Other advantages include shorter length of hospital stay, fewer narcotics needed for pain management and a quicker return to work. As the surgeon, I am only a few feet away, looking into a computer console. With my assistants, we work closely as a team and it’s almost as if I was there with my hands in the patient’s chest.
The depth perception for robotic procedures is far superior to manual procedures that use minimally invasive techniques because manual thoracoscopic offers only two-dimensional images. Whereas, robotic procedures have binocular 3-D vision, giving the surgeons greater depth perception, as well as magnification, which is a real advantage to a surgeon.
When I started using robotic assistance, I didn’t just dabble in robotic cases, doing one or two a month. I went all in when I realized that the advantages to the patient were so remarkable. At this point, about 90 percent of all my surgeries are done robotically, because it offers so many advantages to the patient.
The risk of having atrial fibrillation, an air leak or bleeding is much less with minimally invasive robotic-assisted surgery than it is with open thoracic surgery for lung cancer. When you have that same procedure for lung cancer done robotically as opposed to open, the risk is about a tenth of that. The advantages to the patient are reduced risk of complications or death from surgery, shorter length of stay and faster return to work with less pain and less need for narcotics.