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Robotics in GI-HPB Cancers: A new milestone in Minimally Invasive Surgery

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By: Dr. Neeraj Chaudhary

The integration of robotic technology represents a transformative leap forward in precision, efficiency, and patient outcomes in GI-HPB cancer surgeries. From the traditional open surgeries to the adoption of laparoscopic techniques and now the emergence of robotic-assisted procedures, the evolution of surgical approaches has ushered in a new era of innovation and excellence.

Historically, GI surgeries relied on open procedures, which often necessitated large incisions and prolonged recovery times. The advent of laparoscopic techniques represented a notable advancement, enabling surgeons to perform minimally invasive surgeries with smaller incisions and reduced post-operative discomfort. However, the transition from laparoscopy to robotic surgery has further refined surgical approaches.

Robotic-assisted procedures harness the capabilities of advanced robotic systems to enhance surgical precision, visualization, and control. Unlike laparoscopy, where surgeons manipulate rigid instruments, robotic surgery employs flexible instruments attached to robotic arms, allowing for greater range of motion and dexterity within the confined space of the abdomen.

A key advantage of robotics in GI-HPB cancer surgeries is its versatility across a wide range of conditions. In colorectal cancer, robotics enable precise dissection and resection of tumours while preserving surrounding healthy tissue, leading to improved sphincter preservation rates and reduced risk of complications such as urinary dysfunction.

For pancreatic cancer, the intricate anatomy and proximity to vital structures make surgery challenging, but robotics allows surgeons to navigate complex anatomy with greater precision and perform intricate reconstructions with improved outcomes.

For esophageal cancer, robotic-assisted techniques facilitate precise tumor excision and reconstruction of the gastrointestinal tract, minimizing the risk of postoperative complications such as anastomotic leaks and strictures while optimizing oncological outcomes

In addition to its pivotal role in cancer surgeries, robotic technology has also demonstrated considerable utility in the realm of benign gastrointestinal surgeries. These encompass a diverse array of conditions, ranging from benign tumours, such as gastrointestinal stromal tumours, to gastrointestinal strictures and functional disorders like achalasia.

In such cases, robotic-assisted procedures offer several advantages over traditional approaches, including enhanced precision, improved visualization, and reduced trauma to surrounding tissues.

Beyond its clinical benefits, robotics in GI surgeries also offer significant advantages for patients, including reduced postoperative pain, shorter hospital stays, and faster recovery times. By minimizing tissue trauma and optimizing surgical precision, robotic-assisted procedures contribute to improved patient experiences and long-term outcomes.

Robotics in GI-HPB cancer surgeries is a monumental advancement in surgical oncology, providing surgeons with the tools and technologies to deliver superior care to patients facing complex gastrointestinal problems. As robotics continue to evolve and become increasingly sophisticated, the future holds promise for further innovation and refinement in the field, ultimately improving outcomes and quality of life for patients worldwide.

(The author is the Director, Robotic and Laparoscopic Surgery, GI-HPB Surgery and Oncology, Yatharth Super Speciality Hospital, Greater Noida)

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