Could robots ever entirely replace the human hand?

By: Wes Kington - MedicalSearch Editor
18 September, 2014

Remember the pod scene from the 2012 movie Prometheus, where a character straps herself into a capsule and a mechanical arm proceeds to perform an emergency procedure on her?

A far cry from reality? Not as much as one would tend to think, so it seems.

Since its advent, robotic surgery has by and large changed the very nature of what occurs in the operating theatre: affording surgeons the ability to innovate and become bolder in their approach; and for patients, cutting treatment costs, reducing pain, and shortening recovery times.

So what does the future hold for surgery?



Case for Robotic Surgery Strengthened by New Data

Australian surgeons have reported data from more than 5000 men showing robot-assisted prostate cancer surgery gets patients home faster with less need for follow-up treatment.

Read how robotic surgery has benefitted prostate cancer patients


Lending an Extra Hand: Surgeons Given Greater Vision, Flexibility

A growing number of hospitals in the US are buying robotic surgical systems or purchasing newer models, with surgeons from Abrazo Health's Arrowhead Hospital, Arizona leading the way among others.

General surgeon Dr Conrad Bellecer answers some common questions about robotic surgery


Surgeons Kill Two Birds with One Stone in Record Time

A Sydney colorectal surgeon and a urologist were able to remove two cancers from a single patient – all in one operation.

Read how the Da Vinci robot enabled an Australian first


A Replacement for Open Heart Surgery

Less blood loss, less infection – these are reasons some of the world's leading cardiothoracic surgeons are becoming staunch advocates for robot-assisted cardiac surgery, including Dr Ravi Kumar, Director of Apollo Hospitals in Chennai, India.

Robots can be there to assist the human hand, and perform feats far beyond its capabilities.

Read how robots are changing cardiac surgery


Robot Surgeons and the Future of Medicine

Technology has made possible remote-controlled robotic hands, telesurgery via satellite and minimally invasive procedures.

Now how about autonomous robots, who can make decisions and perform procedures based on the copious amounts of data uploaded to them?

With this in mind, there could only remain one more critical question left to answer.

Watch what Fw: Thinking has to say about the future of surgery