What is Robotic Surgery?
Robotic surgery is the use of robotic arms controlled by the surgeon who is sitting in a console equipped with 3D and high definition vision to perform surgery. It is a form of laparoscopic surgery using a specialised platform for vision and movement.
What are the advantages of Robotic Surgery?
The robotic arm mimics the human hand in having 7 degrees of movement. In contrast, standard laparoscopy instruments have 5 degrees of movement. Thus for complicated manoeuvres, such as stitching in a tight space or dissecting in a narrow environment, the robotic arms have an advantage over conventional laparoscopy. The robotic arms are also very stable and precise, as there is no muscle fatigue (unlike a human arm) and the 3D vision gives very exacting and precise movements.
What type of surgery is suitable for Robotic surgery?
Almost any gynaecological procedure can be performed robotically. This includes removal of ovarian cysts and fibroids, tackling stage 3/4 endometriosis, hysterectomy (removal of the womb), especially for early stage cancer disease.
How long has Robotic Surgery been in use?
Robotic surgery has been in use for more than 15 years. A/Prof Fong performed the first robotic surgery in NUH and the team went on to perform the first robotic surgery for endometrial cancer in the region. (http://medicine.nus.edu.sg/obgyn/news-first-robotic-surgery-in-south-east-asia.html)
Since then he has gone on to proctor and guide many other doctors both locally and in the region to use the robot, and has also performed live surgery during conferences. He organised the first workshops in the region for training and education and he is on the da Vinci surgeon locator.