Robot-Assisted Surgery Speeds up Patient Recovery
A new study conducted in the UK discovered that robotic assistance in bladder cancer removal allows for faster patient recovery and shortens the time spent in hospital—by up to 20%. This method also reduces the likelihood of readmission by more than 50%.
Moreover, compared to people who underwent open surgery, there was a 77% reduction in the prevalence of blood clots. This is particularly significant because clots are usually among the main contributors to health issues in the postoperative period.
The researchers evaluated the patients’ physical activity using smart sensors and found that their energy and level of well-being were higher. When performing open surgery, surgeons operate directly on the patient, and the procedure includes large incisions in the skin and muscles. On the other hand, robotic surgery enables the surgeon to remotely control minimally invasive devices with the help of a console with 3D view.
Despite the potential these procedures are showing, there aren’t nearly enough hospitals in the UK where these surgeries can be performed. This might be liable to change, as the research team believes the results show strong evidence of the advantages of robotic surgery and is already encouraging NICE (National Institute of Clinical Excellence) to offer this option to all patients undergoing major gynecological and abdominal operations.
Even though robotic surgery is becoming more accessible, clinical assessments of its impact on patient recovery were still scarce prior to this study, with most existing research focusing more on long-term outcomes. Therefore, the UK team wanted to determine whether robotic surgery can shorten the recovery time and reduce readmissions in comparison to open surgery.
Furthermore, it was discovered that this kind of surgery results in better physical condition and well-being. In general, robot-assisted surgery can reduce the time spent in the hospital and allows for faster patient recovery due to better mobility. Researchers believe that they will soon be able to track the patients’ recovery process after they’re discharged from the hospital and identify those who require a nurse visit or a medical examination (similar to what is done with medical alert systems).
Although the study found significant differences in the intermediate postoperative period when comparing open and robot-assisted procedures, it also determined that they’re equally effective in terms of cancer recurrence and life expectancy.
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