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Robotic surgery gains momentum during COVID-19

Article-Robotic surgery gains momentum during COVID-19

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As more patients are becoming receptive to innovative care, there has been an increase in integrating robotic surgery to assist surgeons.

Robotic surgery is accelerating in the UAE, even post COVID-19. There are other trends to look forward to in medicine and diagnostics, but robotic surgeries seem to have a prevalence as it supports surgeons in delivering improved and more efficient outcomes for patients.

“Decades ago, this procedure seemed unimaginable, but it became a reality and kept on evolving. Traditionally, spine surgeons must insert instruments into your spine, relying on their knowledge of anatomy and with the help of X-rays. Due to the procedure's sensitivity, it usually takes long hours, which can exhaust doctors and tire them,” said Dr. Zbiggy Brodzinsky, Consultant Orthopedic Spine Surgeon at Valiant Clinic & Hospital.

Data by Verified Market Research shows that the global robotic surgery market size was valued at $6.1 billion in 2020, it is expected to reach $22.27 billion by 2028. The company said that medical robots have become “high in demand since the onset of the COVID -19 pandemic.”

Robots can move freely around patients and operating theatres; nonetheless, they can also be used as a disinfectant with the virus- and bacteria-killing ultraviolet light.

“The more light the robot exposes to a surface, the more harmful microorganisms are eliminated. 99.99 per cent of all germs and bacteria are removed within 10 minutes in a standard patient room,” wrote Verified Market Research.

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Dr. Zbiggy Brodzinsky, image supplied

Dr. Brodzinsky is one of the doctors conducting robotic surgeries in the UAE. Robotic Surgeries are advanced and minimally invasive. Surgeons use small instruments that are connected to robotic arms. Robotic surgeries are not meant to replace surgeons, the robots are operated by the surgeons.

Those surgeries intend to have less physical contact with the patient, and rather have the ability to help patients spend less time in the hospital and more time at home. So far, robotic surgery has an almost close to zero complication rate, minimum surgical trauma, and high efficacy according to Dr. Brodzinsky. These, and more, are what make robotic surgery an ideal option.

“Today, robots assist surgeons with precision and accuracy even with repetitive tasks. Robots can perform repetitive tasks with virtually unlimited endurance and without decreased performance, minimising the chances of fatigue-related errors and potentially resulting in more consistent outcomes for patients. Further, robotic guidance instead of image guidance minimises radiation exposure for the patient, surgeon, and other operating room staff,” he said.

Mediclinic City Hospital, a private hospital in the UAE, is one of the pioneers in robotic surgical systems. The healthcare provider put together an experienced team of surgeons with the most advanced robotic surgical system available, The da Vinci Xi.

This system acts as an extension of the surgeon’s eyes and hands, therefore, gives the surgeon magnified vision and 360 degree dexterity of four arms. Hence, surgeons can perform some of the most complex procedures using this system. The number of surgeries that have been operated by da Vinci Xi worldwide has surpassed 10 million worldwide.

In October of this year, The Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences (MBRU) and Mediclinic Middle East announced that they have successfully carried out the country’s first robotic kidney donor surgery on two male patients at Mediclinic City Hospital.

“We have seen an increase in robotic surgeries performed in the country post-Covid. We attribute this growth to various factors; particularly how efficient and seamless the procedure is,” said Dr. Brodzinsky.

Not only private hospitals but the trend is also increasing in the public hospitals. The Emirates Health Services (EHS) said that Al Qassimi Hospital for Women & Children has used surgical robots to perform 12 surgeries to treat pelvic diseases within five days. This increases the hospital’s record to 151 robotic surgeries since February 2019. EHS developed robotic surgeries in Gynecology to promote artificial intelligence into the practice.

The trend of using robots in healthcare is on the rise, as more providers learn that these automated applications can be used in conjunction with the healthcare staff and not as a replacement for them.



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