Applications of Robots in Surgery

Applications of Robots in Surgery

Siamak Najarian (Amirkabir University of Technology, Iran) and Elnaz Afshari (Amirkabir University of Technology, Iran)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-977-4.ch012


In this chapter authors explain an application robotics in the field of medical diagnosis as well as in different medical fields such as rehabilitation, surgery, various diagnostic stages, medical and surgical training, etc.  They discuss simply omnipresent surgery or MIS and robotic surgery and introduce different robotic surgery systems and technologies in the world.   They talk about surgery and different methods of it using a chronological approach.
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The word robot, from the Czech word robota that means simply ‘forced labor’, was introduced for the first time by the Czech writer Karel Capek (1920) in his play Rossum’s Universal Robots. He describes a plot in which man creates a robot, which initially provides benefits, but in the end produces despair in the form of unemployment and social unrest. It is also interesting to know that one of the first robots developed was by Leonardo Da Vinci (1495); a mechanical armored knight that was used to amuse royalty (Dharia & Falcone, 2005). According to the Robot Institute of America, a robot is a reprogrammable, multifunctional manipulator designed to move material, parts, tools, or specialized devices through various programmed motions for the performance of a variety of tasks (Speich & Rosen, 2004). Although the first applications of robotics were in mathematics, computers, and industry, today robotic technologies are used in space and ocean exploration, medical, military and police tasks and entertainment. In this regard, one of the most important applications of robotics is in medicine (Burdea, 1996; Cepolina & Michelina, 2004). Robots and robotic systems can be used to replace missing limbs, perform delicate surgical procedures, deliver neurorehabilitation therapy to stroke patients, teach children with learning disabilities, and perform a growing number of other health related tasks. Surgery and operating rooms are one of the crucial locations that robots have influenced 
(Giulianotti et al, 2003; Camarillo et al, 2004; Hockstein et al, 2007). The traditional open surgery approach is an efficient method of surgery that can be useful in different surgeries even today. In this method large incisions enable surgeons to see and manipulate the pathological tissue directly. The significant damage done to organs in the surgical path causes pain to the patient, entails long recovery time, and causes complications due to surgical trauma. In contrast with this old approach, minimally invasive surgery (MIS) or minimally access surgery is a new method for surgery, the goal of which is to prevent unnecessary trauma by reducing the size of incisions to a few centimeters or less. The benefits of reduced trauma, less pain and shorter recovery time, make MIS the technique of choice of many surgeons around the world (Mack, 2001; Melzer et al, 1993; Deml et al, 2005). Robotic surgery is one of the methods of minimally invasive surgery that refers to the application of computer-assisted robotic technologies to enhance the surgeon’s ability to carry out various surgical procedures (Marescaux & Rubino, 2005; Cadiere et al, 2001). The robots used in surgery should ideally be part of
computer-integrated surgery systems. The robot is just one element of a larger system designed to assist a surgeon in performing a surgical procedure. In fact, the robots are used to improve the outcome of operations, so they must have advantages above humans will they be successful for their operative task (Morris, 2005). Here, we present a brief history of robotics and its applications in medicine especially in surgery. Then we will discuss robotic surgery and introduce different surgical robotic systems and technologies.

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