Someone close to my family passed away this summer of cancer. In lieu of flowers her family asked for donations to help fund a new da Vinci Surgery robot for the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton. Being me, I wanted to know what made this robot special.
The da Vinci Surgery system features a 3D-High Definition visual system that can magnify an image up to 10 times, giving surgeons a much clearer view of the area they are working in. It also has fine instruments that are directly controlled by the surgeon, they mimic human wrist movements, but are significantly more precise. They can even minimize the minor hand tremors that a surgeon may have (think image stabilization on a camera).
The benefits of these two features are significant. The cuts made using this system are much smaller than would be done with traditional surgical options, which can lead to lower levels of blood loss, less scarring, shorter hospital stays, less pain medication, and faster recovery. There are a range of procedures that the system can be used in but much of the focus has been on hysterectomies and prostatectomies.
Cancer needs to be addressed from all sides of the spectrum. We need to work on prevention, identifying risk factors and causes, we need to work on treatment, surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, mental health, and we need to work on recovery both mentally and physically. This system allows for more precise treatment during surgery, which can only help with other aspects of treatment and for recovery.
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