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What's Wrong with the da Vinci Robot?



As more health systems use devices such as the da Vinci robot, there's growing controversy about their value. But for head and neck surgeons, the robot means a "new era" in patient care.



6 comments on "What's Wrong with the da Vinci Robot?"
Kyle (1/20/2013 at 10:07 PM)

I'll tell you what advantage this machine has! Sensitivity and dead zone! I don't care who you are or how experienced you are, you cannot stop involuntary trembling. As steady as your hand is, those small mistakes are like football fields compared to your tissues and cells. I play flight simulators and other video games and dead zone is so very important. Dead zone is configurable feature to every expensive yokes and joysticks that ignore input when it is under a certain limt. When the doc is holding the knife or laser, any movement is cutting you, but with the robot assist, the doc moves their instrument a micrometer the robot can ignore it. Now the involuntary trembles (no matter how small) are in fact eliminated. Now lest say you actually want to make an incision 1 micrometer, that's 1/100ths the width of a human hair, humans cannot make that precise of a cut. With the robot, they can set the sensitivity to such a fine level they have to move the input instrument 10 cm, for the real laser to move 1 micrometer, (factor of 100, 000) as long as a camera can zoom that deep. Now these are just some theoretical ideas, I have no idea if the robot can actuallybe that precise, but now these levels are in view as the technology improves.
Strikermmg (1/20/2013 at 1:00 PM)

There is nothing wrong with the DaVinci Robotic system! It is an amazing piece of technology that has made a paradigm shift in surgery. At its core it is part of a bigger group.of minimally invasive surgery procedures. MIS as a group is far better for the patient and hospital and medical insurance companies. What needs to be differentiated is the choice of methods used in the various procedures being done. In many cases MIS can be done without the DaVinci system with very similar outcomes. Thus costing all parties much less. What also needs to be recognized is that the DaVinci system can do MIS procedures that up until now were only able to be done by open surgery. Here is the big gain for all parties concerned. Here the patient and hospital and insurance companies can all be big gainers. What is needed is the recognition that MIS procedures that can only be done with the DaVinci system should have a higher compensation level to the doctors and hospitals. This will [INVALID] the proper incentives for all those parties to use the DaVinci system more effectively. As doctors are becoming more proficient with the DaVinci system more and more complex procedures will be done with it. The result will be lower costs an better patient care.
bunny b (12/19/2012 at 11:22 AM)

I, for some reason, don't trust this robot only because i feel the hospital industry are rushing into using this robot meaning training time for the robot is way too short. I been reading other articles that claim surgeon training for these robots are only two days. Lives are not to be played with nor to be guinea pigs. I think training for the usage of the robot in operation should be an addition 2-4 years in school on top of the years surgeons go to school, because of the seriousness and mastering the use of the robot, reducing the risks of incidents and prove the seriousness of the use of the robot in real human operations.
Murat (7/20/2012 at 7:25 AM)

What is the advantages of this robotic procedures over the traditional palatal procedures? A method that requires additional instrument, the time, experience and money. Classical methods to be applied when complications have already. This technique can be performed for selected patients and selected clinics by experienced otolaryngologysts.
Dave V (1/26/2012 at 4:13 PM)

Another article citing ECRI and their archaic statements. It seems ECRI never bothers to do even rudimentary research with surgeons currently using the system or patients that are routinely spared large incisions. While ECRI continues to position da Vinci surgery as 'Experimental and not clinically superior', patients and surgeons have now made it the Number 1 treatment for prostate cancer in the world. It is the da Vinci robot alone that has lowered open hysterectomy rates from 65% nationally to 45% nationally[INVALID]something previous treatments have been unable to do. Come on ECRI[INVALID]you are quickly making your organization seem irrelevant. No, da Vinci is not for everyone, and it's not a magical cure. It is a tool that allows surgeons to go places and do things through small holes that they could only dream of with just their hands. Wake up ECRI.
Kerry Willis MD (1/26/2012 at 2:10 PM)

You really should talk to surgeons at a center where it is used for Cardiothoracicsurgery. The Da Vinci is nothing less than a miracle in lessening LOS from CT surgery and not lilling older people in need of valve replacement or lung resection . Having expererinced this with family as well as my patients, your soruce was either ignorant or not partial in his assesment.