Stephanie Rodriguez Writing 0300-004 Laura Wavell July 31, 2012 ...

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Stephanie Rodriguez

Writing 0300

Laura Wavell

July 31, 2012

Surgery and Robotics

The doctor said, “
We lost this patient, let’s reboot and try again.” These are the words of
a doctor using innovations that have dramatically changed surgical procedures.

Doctors and
surgeons have been around for years saving people’s lives, but the tools and instruments used
have changed! The way surgical procedures are done and taught have had a 180 degree turn.
Currently, doctors are being taught by teachers and perform
ing their operations with equipment
such as clamps, forceps, and scalpels. There have been new innovations transforming the way
surgeries are done and impacting society such as Virtual Simulators and Robotics.

Surgery by definition is the process of removi
ng or repairing the damage from the body
from injury or disease. Accordin
g to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
, it takes many years of
schooling and practice for surgeons to perform successful surgeries. The requirements to become
a surgeon have remained the

same. Surgeons must receive an undergraduate degree, get accepted
to medical school, and receive their residency. In the first three years of medical school students
are taught basic science classes and receive some exposure to the medical system. The fin
al year
is when students get a more “hands
on” activity. After medical school, students will receive their
license to practice and soon after receive their surgical residency in the specific practice they


desire (“Physicians and Surgeons”). Jonathon Blau,
a Neurosurgeon from Trinity Mother
Frances Hospital, states that he learned his skills by working with other surgeons and by his
classes. He conducted research, wrote articles, and journals. He has developed new techniques
and continues to pass them on to
future surgeons (“Surgical Traits”). Technology and ideas
continue to advance and surgeons must stay current on advances in machinery.
The article
Virtual Reality Surgery Simulator Hones Surgeons S
kills, Improves Patient Safety” says that
omputer tec
hnology has changed the way many operations are performed. Surgeons are
beginning to get introduced to a new innovation that has completely transformed the way
surgeons are taught, which are simulations (Oregon Health & Science University).

ulations were only heard of in aviation, but they will soon take over surgical
procedures and surgeons are beginning to test these simulators. They can be best defined as a
collection of technology that allows people to interact efficiently with 3D compute
databases in real time using their natural senses and skills (“Virtual Reality

Advances in
Surgery Simulation”). Camille Ray mentions in her article,
Making Virtual Surgery a Reality,

that simulators give surgeons the opportunity to experience bein
g in the operating room and
feeling like they are in unpredictable environments without the pressure of actually being with a
human being. This innovation allows doctors in training to practice their skills on extremely
realistic simulators which also give
s feedback on how the surgeon is handling the surgery.
Virtual Simulators will transform the way surgeons are trained and educated. There has been
testing of this technology. For example, in Portland, Oregon, in the Oregon Health & Science

y recently won a 50,000 grant which allowed them to purchase a laparoscopic
surgery simulator. With this simulator it allowed the surgeons to practice complex tasks before
entering the operating room. They came to the realization that this device enabled s
urgeons to


become more proficient when operating with their patients. Surgeons that used the simulator
drastically made fewer medical errors (“New Virtual Reality Surgery Simulator Hones Surgeons
Skills, Improves Patient Safety”). Educators and surgeons be
lieve students will be more efficient
in the operating room if this innovation becomes part of the experienced based
training process.
Medical students and surgeons will benefit with this new technology upon its release.

There are many expanded possibiliti
es in the medical field. In the Article,
Virtual Reality

Advances in Surgery Simulation
, the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and
Bioengineering claims, that the future possibilities for simulation beyond what they already
created are surgeries t
owards obesity. There are many high demands for new operations toward
obesity. Many surgeons have not witnessed an operation that deals with obesity and this is how
simulators will assist surgeons to make these operations successful. Simulators will impact

society in many ways.

Simulators will have a great impact in society. They have not been fully integrated, but
they have and will provide many positive assets for our society. The Oregon State & Science
University also mentions that by practicing with the

simulators before their surgery, surgeons are
given the opportunity to practice the surgery without putting the patient’s life in danger.
Simulators also enhance the learning process for surgeons. With this fantastic innovation the cost
and years to becom
e a surgeon can be reduced. In the article, C



Pedro Archango states that the

median debt for public medical school graduates is

Over sixty percent of students come from wealthy families; the other forty percent st
ruggle to
make their payments.

The article
"New Virtual Reality Surgery Simulator Hones Surgeons
kills, Improves Patient Safety” says that w
ith simulators put into the teaching process during


medical school students would no longer have to go to school f
or so many years and with the
need of more doctors this can increase the number of doctors all over the country. The costs for a
simulator are highly expensive, but it will improve patients’ lives and assist students in medical
school (Oregon Health & Scie
nce University). Robotics, as well as simulators, will also impact
society in many ways.

Technology is revolutionizing surgery with the creation of Robotics; precision, stability,
and dexterity are the skills that have enhanced surgeons in the
operating room. Robotics should
not be considered as a replacement for surgeons, but more as a highly skilled assistant.

After the
approval of the FDA in July 2000, surgeons began to test this innovation.

In Michelle
Butterfields article,
Robot Removes C
algary Woman's Brain Tumor
, it mentions one of the many
successful operations that occurred due to the help of robotics. Surgeons managed to remove an
egg shaped tumor from a 21 year old women’s brain by using Robotics. Butterfields states that it
was a br
eakthrough and that robotics are evolving and will continue to evolve. When performing
Robotic Surgery, surgeons sit at a console and look like jet fighters ready for battle. They begin
to look into a video monitor which shows everything in 3
demensions. T
heir hands are then
strapped into two controls. Each hand has its own control and this is when the operation
commences and man and machine are connected. A surgeon must be careful with each move that
he makes; even a flinch of an arm could have consequence
s. Each movement that


makes goes from the controls through a computer which could not be compared to the computers
we use at home. After the computers process the information, it leads straight to the robotic arms
(“Robotic Surgery”). Robotic sur
gery is not going anywhere. This innovation may be highly
advanced, but it may take time for medical engineers to revolutionize the way surgery is done.


Robotics is being integrated into surgery and surgical education at a fast rate and engineers still
ntinue to come up with possibilities for the future.

Robert D. Howe, an engineer from Harvard, explains the expanding and exciting
possibilities for the future. Engineers and researchers are working on systems to relay touch
sensation from robotic instru
ments back to the surgeon. Laboratories are researching the

for a surgeon to program the surgery and merely supervise as the robot performs
most of the tasks. Researchers are also beginning to plan for a video image fusion to guide
surgeons i
n dissection and identifying pathology. The nature of robotic systems also creates the
possibility of long
distance consultation or guidance. These new innovations may provide new
opportunities for teaching and assessment of new surgeons through mentoring
and simulation.

Robert states, “the future of Robotics is limited only by imagination (“Robotics for Surgery”).
This technology will continue to affect the medical field and society.

Robotic technology is expected to play an increasingly important role in

the future of
surgery. Robotics will impact the way that surgeons are trained as well as patients’ safety.
According to
"Robotics for Surgery


survey conducted by Harvard in 2003 showed that 57% of
surgical residents demonstrated high interest in roboti
c surgery. Eighty percent of institutes did
not have a robotic training program in their institutions. When Robotic surgery and simulators
are fully integrated in medical institutes it will shorten the learning. Robotics will also decrease
the number of me
dical errors done in the operating room.

With their precise incisions, resistance
to infection, and fl
exible and adaptable arms, there

will be no room for mistakes (Howe).

factors result in fewer traumas to the body and faster healing. These innova
tions will take
surgery to the next level.


Surgical procedures are continuing to advance! Society is unaware of the extremities of
surgical innovations. Researchers and engineers continue to create innovations that have
possibilities of evolving. After rob
otics and simulators there will be other innovations that will
benefit our health and well
being. As a society we must become accustomed for what is being
created and expect the unexpected!


Works Cited

Archanjo , Pedro. "People's Weekly World ."
Confronting rising medical school debt
. 29
October 2005. People's Weekly World. 25 Jun 2008

Butterfield, Michelle . "Robot removes Calgary woman's brain tumor."
Times Colonist

. 17
May 2008. Canwest Publishing Inc.. 25 Jun 2008

Howe , Robert D.
Robotics for Surgery ."
Robotics for Surgery

1.23(2000) 211
240. 26 Jun
2008 <>.

Oregon Health & Science University. "New Virtual Reality Surgery Simulator Hones Surgeons
Skills, Improves Patient Safety." Sc
ienceDaily 27 June 2005. 25 June 2008

"Physicians and Surgeons."
Bureau of Labor Statistics
. 25 June 2008. U.S. Department of
Labor. 25 Jun 2008 <>.

Rey , Ca
mille. "Making virtual surgery a reality: Construction begins on new simulation
Stanford News Service

. 01 February 2006. Stanford University . 25 Jun 2008

"Robotic S
urgery ."
MD. Nation Wide

. 2001. MD. Nation Wide . 25 Jun 2008


"Surgical Traits."
So, You want to Be a Surgeon
. 2001. American College of Surgeons. 25 Jun
2008 <

"Virtual Reality

Advances in Surgery Simulation."
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging
and Bioengineering
. 30 November 2007. National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and
Bioengineering. 26 Jun 2008