How robots are changing the healing process - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

How robots are changing the healing process

Madison (WKOW) -- Over the past few years, robotic technology has changed the way we live.

  And in medicine, it's changing the way we heal.

  In fact, now there are mechanical doctors performing surgeries.

  When Carlos Perez heard he needed surgery for prostate cancer, he went into action.

  He said, "a lot of thoughts go through your mind, especially with your family. So I decided to research and see what the best method was and what results from these methods were."

  He checked his options online and liked what he found about robotic surgery.

  Perez added, "I found out that it was the least invasive. It was a quick recovery and the effects from it were minimal."

  Reasons more and more patients are requesting robots in the operating room.

  Doctor David Chen said, "there are certainly patients who come in, into the office asking for that surgery and if you don't provide that, they'll look around."

  Cancer surgeon David Chen says using a robot has advantages.

  The technology allows him to do more complex surgeries with better results.

  "We have the ability to use tweezers, scissors, needle drivers that you would have with traditional surgery, and instead, it's miniaturized and put inside a patient's body and you control it with a level of precision you can't do even with your own hands," said Doctor Chen.

  The robot's not really doing the surgery.

  What it does is hold the tiny instruments inside the body, while the surgeon manipulates them from a console.

  The procedure's done through small incisions, so the robot also holds a camera to give the surgeon a clear view inside.

  Doctor Chen added, "using this approach, using a laparoscopic approach with a camera, you have a much better ability to see, and see much more so, than you can with your unaided eye or even putting on some magnification lenses on your glasses."

  Doctor Chen says it's okay that patients request robotic surgery, as long as they also ask the right questions.

  He said, "if robotic surgery is recommended, really honestly ask how experienced is that surgeon in doing that specific operation. What kind of experience does the hospital have in caring for patients afterwards and the staff involved?"

  Carlos liked the answers he got and his research paid off.

  Perez said, "everything turned out just the way we planned it. I'm feeling good, thank god. I just had my last checkup this week and everything's fine so far."

  Thanks to a combined effort between man and machine, robotic surgery is paving the way to the future.

  In addition to prostate surgery, robots also help in hysterectomies and some heart procedures.

  Insurance covers most robotic operations, but check with your policy to be sure.

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