4 Ways Technology Has Improved Surgical Efficiency

Thursday, April 13, 2017

4 Ways Technology Has Improved Surgical Efficiency


Healthcare can be quite the confusing landscape to muddle through. But while medical insurance is a divisive topic, both patients and medical professionals can take solace from one certain fact: science continues to move forward.

One of the most worrisome treatments has always been major surgery, but even here there are technologies making a surgeon's work easier and more efficient.

Augmented Microscopy

This new technology describes a device that combines what a surgeon actually sees under a microscope with a computer generated image. The image is produced by the familiar technique of fluoroscopy, where a substance emitting near-infrared fluorescence is injected into the patient to highlight different pathways and physical processes. Once used strictly for diagnostic imaging, the integration of an imaging device with a microscope helps the doctor see "beyond" what the microscope shows and determine the best path, for instance, to remove a brain tumor.

Related articles

Surgical Generators

One of the lesser known but essential surgical techniques involves electro surgery to perform such procedures as destroying tumors, removing artery occlusions, or cauterizing blood vessels. The effects of particular frequencies and electric waveforms on human tissue is well known. However, this requires sophisticated devices that can generate electronic waveforms safely and reliably. Advanced surgical generators, like this mega power generator, can do this while memorizing settings, interfacing with computers, monitoring the effects in real time, and be adjusted at a touch. The ability to perform these procedures accurately and consistently saves more lives.

Robots Inside You

The idea of tiny robots, or controlled microscopic devices, is an old staple of science fiction that has also been quietly, steadily progressing. They've been used in industry for things like cleaning up harmful substances or clearing long, narrow passageways. They can be introduced to patients by injection, swallowing a capsule, or even absorption through the skin. These little machines can just as easily eat away cancerous tumors, clear plaque from arteries, and much more. While they haven't yet been approved for medicine, current work furthering the development of nanobots will mean the end of many forms of invasive surgery.

3D Printing

A 3D printer is a means for surgeons to create elaborate 3D models which let them evaluate and practice complex procedures. This technology is also widely used to create valves, stents, and prosthetics specific to each patient and to precisions a fraction the width of a human hair. New biomedical materials allow surgeons to replace or manipulate body parts by implanting frameworks over which healthy cells can grow. The material then disintegrates harmlessly. It's hoped that soon cell-infused materials may even recreate entire organs grown from the patient's own tissue to minimize risks of rejection.

3D printed prosthetics

Robotic Surgery Tools

Robotic surgery has been mainly associated with minor, minimally invasive procedures that can be performed through small incisions. But with advanced robotics, it's being used more often in complicated open surgical operations. In the US, the FDA began approving robotic tools for use in various surgical procedures as early as 2000.

Most robotic systems involve one or more mechanical arms which can operate surgical instruments, as well as cameras. The surgeon sits at a computer operating the robotic arm by remote control while viewing a magnified, high-def, 3-D display of what's happening. Robotics provides more stability, precision, and control than even the most skilled human hands could achieve. This makes even long and complex procedures easier and more efficient.

Technology is allowing surgeons less invasive and more precise treatments. This means reduced physical stress on the patient and much more efficient surgical techniques. This is a trend new technologies will continue to fuel.

By  Emma SturgisEmbed

Emma is a freelance writer currently living in Boston. When not writing, she enjoys baking and indoor rock climbing. Find her on Google +.


Post a Comment