Robotic Surgery Revolutionizes Patient Treatments

Joanna Gagis talks with Michael Lasser, MD, Medical Director of Robotic Surgery at JFK Medical Center to discuss how robotic surgery has revolutionized the way surgeons are able to treat their patients.

10/22/16 #521






"Welcome back. You know, robotic surgery has revolutionized the way surgeons are able to treat their patients. I have Doctor Michael Lasser here to explain how. He is the Medical Director of Robotic Surgery at JFK Medical Center. Welcome to the program. Thank you, nice to be here. It's great to have you. This is a topic that many people still don't understand and a lot of questions still surround robotic surgery like first of all, what is it? That's a huge question I get a lot of. Along with that is "hey, do you even do the surgery anymore?" Right. There's almost an automatic assumption that when you have robotic surgery, a robot is performing the operation. Correct, yeah. Is that the case? Not at all. There's no autonomous function to the robot whatsoever. It doesn't do anything... In other words the robot is not functioning on it's own. Not at all. Correct, yeah. So it is a robot that essentially would be stand still and do nothing unless told to do something or instructed to do so by the surgeon. What does it physically look like when you're operating this robot. It's an impressive robot. It has four arms, one of which controls a camera and three of which control instruments. When people come in and they ask about what robotic surgery is, I start with the discussion of what is minimally invasive surgery or Laparoscopy. And Laparoscopy is what we've used to convert big surgeries to small surgeries. So we do surgery through small incisions with cameras and instruments. There's proven benefits to that. Patients now get out of the hospital faster with less blood loss. Less complications in certain situations but there is always some risk that you can't do all surgeries in a laparoscopic or minimally invasive approach. Now we have the robot which has allowed us to convert certain complex surgeries from an open surgery to a minimally invasive approach. So now we can take these patients who would have had to have had a large incision and stay in a hospital for a long time with more pain. Convert them to a minimally invasive or laparoscopic approach so that we can provide the benefits of that. So you are controlling the arms, the hands let's say, of this robot but those hands are smaller than a doctors hands? That's correct, Yeah. It actually uses instruments that if you look at it, they are about as wide as a pinky or so. So the benefits of the robot are that we can manipulate the instruments or the tools we use as if we're using our own hands. They have a degree of "freedom of seven" which is the exact amount of freedom you have with your hands so..."