Robotic surgery for cancer is a minimally invasive surgery that involves fewer incisions and affords better vision and precision for a surgeon. This surgery, in which the surgeon or surgical team is aided by robots, helps remove tumors that are otherwise hard to reach. The duration of this type of surgery is shorter than conventional surgery. Side effects from this surgery are fewer than from traditional surgery.
Tumor removal from the colon, lungs, uterus, liver, pancreas, head and neck, and reproductive organs.
The surgeon performs the surgery with the help of robotic tools, and the robotic arms are controlled remotely using a console. One of the robotic arms carries a laparoscope, and the other arm holds a small surgical instrument, which can fit into an inch-long incision.
The screen gives a 3-dimensional view of the tumor, helping the surgeon to remove the tumor precisely. A joystick controls each robotic arm. This joystick can be compared to the wrist of a human arm and is dextrous as the hands using which the surgeon performs surgery with precision. A trained surgeon performs this surgery without even touching the patient's body.
Follow-up appointments will begin two to three months after treatment. They will be scheduled every three to six months. Around two years after surgery, follow-ups may become less frequent. The concerned physician or nurse will give a follow-up appointment schedule. The nurse or doctor will give information on the possible side effects, details about any warning signals to look out for, and whom to approach when such changes are noticed.
Risks associated with robotic surgery for cancer are rarer than conventional surgery. However, certain complications can occur, such as:
In some rare cases, during surgery, certain intestinal parts might be damaged, which might lead to infections in the stomach. Further surgery might be needed to fix this. In cases involving the removal of lymph nodes, lymphoceles (a collection of lymphatic fluid within the body not bordered by epithelial linings) might accumulate and might need to be drained.
In very rare and extreme cases, death might occur. The patient's age, overall health, as well as the skill of the surgeon, are also factors that might lead to complications.
The recovery rate following robotic surgery for cancer is very high and faster than conventional and laparoscopic surgery. It is a less-invasive surgery. The incisions made are a few centimeters long, and the precision of the surgery ensures that the patient recovers faster. The recovery time is as short as 2-3 weeks. Certain factors such as the patient's age and overall health also determine the recovery rate. Certain healthy individuals recover faster, even with or without oral medications.