The introduction of laparoscopic techniques in surgery caused a revolution. Since then, other new minimally invasive techniques- such as transvaginal surgery, single-site surgery and, more recently, robotic-assisted surgery – have been introduced.
The advantages of laparoscopic surgery against open surgery are well known: smaller incision, less pain and quicker recovery, though still with some movement limitations. With the introduction of 3D vision cameras, a better vision has been obtained in laparoscopic setting. The implementation of robotics in surgery has changed all that, because a robotic arm allows a total intra-abdominal movement. We could say that a robot facilitates the surgeon’s work, with special powers, an amplified 3D vision and permitting access to difficult parts of the body which were impossible to reach. It also eliminates natural tremor and improves the surgeon’s ergonomics during surgery.
The future of robotic surgery envisages a fusion of robotics and virtual reality and, later on, artificial intelligence too.
Work is currently being undertaken on a glove with sensors that will transmit orders to a robot. Virtual reality over position on the body will also help the surgeon.
The future operating room will probably be related to virtual reality of the body, were doctors will be able to see trout tissues, amplified the vision depends on their necessity and to control robots with sensors.
Surgeons will also use virtual reality to search for equal or similar cases at the same time of operating.
Many researchers are developing micro robots that will be able to travel through the body following the surgeon’s instructions, such as repairing, eliminating or performing a surgical procedure.
Some of these innovations are now possible, some of them are in development and others will be lost. But the next surgical revolution will ameliorate surgeon capabilities and reduce patients’ complications.