09th Feb 2014
New Delhi- Dr. Robotic Cerfolio, University of Alabama Birmingham Professor of Surgery and Chief of Robotic Surgery made it very clear to his audience at the Robotic Surgeons Council of India February 9th that technology is advancing rapidly. He believes that surgeons who want to keep pace need to be practicing robotic surgery. “Robotic systems in the future are going to be able to use different types of cameras to identify cancer.” says Cerfolio, also an Intuitive Surgical* proctor and consultant. “We all know about Firefly,** but that just shows us flow. There are already robotic camera systems that I’ve used at Intuitive that haven’t been fully developed yet that can fluoresce cancer. They already exist. In addition, there are things that Intuitive has bought that already exist where you can put a 1-or 2- millimeter chip, say, in an 8- millimeter lung nodule. You can have a radiologist put it in percutaneously, and then you go to the operating room and you put your staplers on- the staplers can tell you how far away you are from that nodule, what’s your margin, and you can have one hundred percent certainty you’re resecting it.”
The audience, made up of some of India’s leading robotic surgeons, was in the second day of meetings where they were both sharing knowledge and helping chart the future of robotic surgery in India. The Vattikuti Foundation sponsored Cerfolio’s participation in the recent Robotic Surgeons Council of India gathering.
“The point is- for the video-assisted surgeon, or the laparoscopic surgeon who wants to sit in the conference and argue about these techniques, he is missing the boat for the future! The future is all robotics and computers.”
Cerfolio claims that resistance to the surgical robot is “Political, social and economic. Everyone in this room knows that the robot is a better platform. Everyone says ‘We see better.’ And we’re gonna get better results… Just sit on the robot and look. It’s as obvious as an airplane versus a boat coming to India.”
*Intuitive Surgical is the manufacturer of the da Vinci surgical robot.
** A tissue imaging system using fluorescent dye and a special robotic camera used during robotic surgery that was developed by Intuitive Surgical.