February 7, 2015

medicine | robots

my days are filled with robots.

no, really.  I started by gyn oncology rotation - which is part of why I haven't blogged in a while.  4am starts and the operating room all day leave very little energy or time for blogging.

but back to the robots.
robotic surgery is a (semi) new technology that has been embraced by gynecologists.  It is similar to laparoscopic surgery in that the instruments enter the abdomen through small holes and ports on the abdomen.  
In laparoscopy, however, the instruments are held and manipulated by human hands, like this:

In robotic surgery, the surgeon sits at a console just next to the patient, and the instruments are held in place and actually manipulated by robotic arms, like this:

(the patient is under the blue sheet)

the research is still mixed on whether the robot is actually cost-effective for the patient and for our system (meaning the super expensive cost of the  machine as well as the additional people required to run an operating room with robotic surgery translates to improved outcomes, shorter hospital stays, shorter recover times, etc), but from a surgeon point of view, it's an amazing way to operate.  

as I get farther into my ob-gyn residency, I'm thinking more about what I want to do when I finish residency, as the options in Ob-Gyn are very diverse.  this month at least, I love operating and think that offering my patients minimally invasive surgeries would be an amazing skill in my tool box.

PS: if you're interested in seeing a robotic hysterectomy video (not for the faint of heart), 
here's an awesome one here that is only 18 minutes (!!) long

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