Post-surgical recovery issues, such as infections and slow wound closure, are some of the most common concerns for proper wound care and healing. New advances in medical technology are designed to improve surgical procedures and reduce the rate of potential complications. One such solution is robotic surgery.
With many robotically-assisted devices now approved by the Food and Drug Administration, health care facilities continue to adopt the innovative tools. Even the Air Force Medical Service is following suit, as they are now beginning to train their surgical teams with this advanced technology. With increased use, it has become clear that surgical robotics can often lead to better outcomes, including faster recovery and fewer infections.
The benefits of robotic surgery
According to the Mayo Clinic, robot-assisted surgery allows surgeons to perform complex procedures with far more precision and control. For instance, medical tools with integrated cameras produce clear, magnified images of the surgical site to assist the entire team during the operation. As these devices improve the medical team’s work, they also benefit the patient outcome. This includes fewer complications, reduced pain and blood loss, faster recovery and minimal scarring.
Training military surgeons
In order to ensure patients receive the best possible care, Major Joshua Tyler, director of robotics at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, helped create the Institute for Defense Robotic Surgical Education. The facility makes medical robotics training accessible for Air Force, Army, Navy and Department of Veterans Affairs surgical teams. They follow a team-based model to make sure everyone has an understanding of the technology, including nurses and medical technicians. Tyler believes this will improve how quickly the surgical robotics can be integrated into facilities.
An overview of training in robotic surgery published in Current Urology Reports, discussed the need for this kind of education. The authors concluded that while there has been a widespread adoption of robotic surgical systems, the industry is lacking in comprehensive training for the new technology.
Tyler referenced his own experiences to explain the benefits of the training: “The best outcomes I’ve ever given my patients came using robotics.” He mentioned decreases in post-surgery pain, surgical site infections and length of hospital stay as the tangible positive results. He also noted that a speedier recovery “means patients get to return to their normal life more quickly.”
With such positive outcomes on the patient experience, Tyler and his team are already planning to double the training capacity of the facility. Health care professionals can also expect a continued use of robotically-assisted devices in hospitals around the country.
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