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30 Years of Robotic Surgery

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Abstract

The idea of reproducing himself with the use of a mechanical robot structure has been in man’s imagination in the last 3000 years. However, the use of robots in medicine has only 30 years of history. The application of robots in surgery originates from the need of modern man to achieve two goals: the telepresence and the performance of repetitive and accurate tasks. The first “robot surgeon” used on a human patient was the PUMA 200 in 1985. In the 1990s, scientists developed the concept of “master–slave” robot, which consisted of a robot with remote manipulators controlled by a surgeon at a surgical workstation. Despite the lack of force and tactile feedback, technical advantages of robotic surgery, such as 3D vision, stable and magnified image, EndoWrist instruments, physiologic tremor filtering, and motion scaling, have been considered fundamental to overcome many of the limitations of the laparoscopic surgery. Since the approval of the da Vinci® robot by international agencies, American, European, and Asian surgeons have proved its factibility and safety for the performance of many different robot-assisted surgeries. Comparative studies of robotic and laparoscopic surgical procedures in general surgery have shown similar results with regard to perioperative, oncological, and functional outcomes. However, higher costs and lack of haptic feedback represent the major limitations of current robotic technology to become the standard technique of minimally invasive surgery worldwide. Therefore, the future of robotic surgery involves cost reduction, development of new platforms and technologies, creation and validation of curriculum and virtual simulators, and conduction of randomized clinical trials to determine the best applications of robotics.

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Correspondence to Tiago Leal Ghezzi.

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Leal Ghezzi, T., Campos Corleta, O. 30 Years of Robotic Surgery. World J Surg 40, 2550–2557 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00268-016-3543-9

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