A report found that 4,000 surgical machines were used in the world in 2016 which served 750,000 operations. Most of the operations were for prostate and uterus surgery, as well as kidney, large intestine, and heart disease.

Most of the surgical robots are made by one company – Intuitive Surgical, which received a license from the US Federal Drug Administration (FDA) in 2000.

Robots are able to avoid problems in traditional open surgery and classic endoscopic surgery.

From a control table placed away from an operation table, surgeons can regulate the robot arm to move it flexibly and carry out sophisticated moves that human hands cannot do.

With the feature, robot arms can reach narrow, deep and inaccessible positions. This allows surgeons, with the support of an HD standard, 3D endoscopic 12x magnification screen, to control the operations well. This is useful in operations to treat cancer.

However, surgical robots cannot ensure 100 percent success. Having been used in the US since 2000, robots were used in 1.7 million operations in the country, with 144 deaths reported, as of 2013.

Scientists found that robotic surgery reduces the risks of infection and helps patients recover more quickly. However, in heart, lung and head operations the risk of death was higher than in operations conducted by humans.

Research conducted by Stanford Medical University found that of 25,000 operations in 416 hospitals in the US in 2006-2012, surgeons needed less time to carry out kidney laparoscopy operations than robots, while fewer accidents occurred with patients who underwent operations by humans only. The finding was published by the American Medical Association.

According to a surgeon in HCM City, patients need to be informed about all the pros and cons of robotic surgery before making a final decision.

The surgeon said that it is not easy to master the skill to control robots. The robots use specialized software which does not allow adjustments, thus hindering operators’ creativity.

Bach Mai hospital in Hanoi launched its robotic systems for joint and neurological operations on March 1, 2017, making it the first medical facility in Vietnam to employ the technology.

Doctors at Binh Dan Hospital in HCM City in August 2017 performed the country’s first robotic surgery on a liver cancer patient.

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