Robotic surgery, computer-assisted surgery, and robotically-assisted surgery are terms for technological developments that use robotic systems to aid in surgical procedures. Robotically-assisted surgery was developed to overcome the limitations of pre-existing minimally-invasive surgical procedures and to enhance the capabilities of surgeons performing open surgery.
In the case of robotically-assisted minimally-invasive surgery, instead of directly moving the instruments, the surgeon uses one of two methods to control the instruments; either a direct telemanipulator or through computer control. A telemanipulator is a remote manipulator that allows the surgeon to perform the normal movements associated with the surgery whilst the robotic arms carry out those movements using end-effectors and manipulators to perform the actual surgery on the patient. In computer-controlled systems the surgeon uses a computer to control the robotic arms and its end-effectors, though these systems can also still use telemanipulators for their input. One advantage of using the computerised method is that the surgeon does not have to be present, but can be anywhere in the world, leading to the possibility for remote surgery.
In the case of enhanced open surgery, autonomous instruments (in familiar configurations) replace traditional steel tools, performing certain actions (such as rib spreading) with much smoother, feedback-controlled motions than could be achieved by a human hand. The main object of such smart instruments is to reduce or eliminate the tissue trauma traditionally associated with open surgery without requiring more than a few minutes’ training on the part of surgeons. This approach seeks to improve open surgeries, particularly cardio-thoracic, that have so far not benefited from minimally-invasive techniques.
If you have been diagnosed a colorectal condition, including: colon cancer, rectal cancer, diverticulitis, and inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease), your doctor may recommend surgery. Surgery to remove all or part of the colon is known as a colectomy. Rectal cancer surgery is known as a low anterior resection.
If you are facing colorectal surgery, ask your doctor about minimally invasive da Vinci Surgery.
What is ERCP?
Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, or ERCP, is a specialized technique used to study the bile ducts, pancreatic duct and gallbladder. Ducts are drainage routes; the drainage channels from the liver are called bile or biliary ducts. The pancreatic duct is the drainage channel from the pancreas.
How is ERCP Performed?
During ERCP, a scope (duodenoscope) is passed through your mouth, esophagus and stomach into the duodenum (first part of the small intestine). The duodenoscope can be directed and moved around the many bends of the stomach and duodenum. This thin, flexible tube lets your doctor see bile ducts, pancreatic duct and gallbladder. After your doctor sees the common opening to the ducts from the liver and pancreas, called the major duodenal papilla, your doctor will pass a narrow plastic tube called a catheter through the endoscope and into the ducts. Your doctor will inject a contrast material (dye) into the pancreatic or biliary ducts and will take X-rays. An open channel in the endoscope also allows other instruments to be passed through it in order to perform biopsies, to insert plastic or metal tubing to relieve obstruction of the bile ducts or pancreatic duct caused by cancer or scarring, and to perform incisions by using electrocautery (electric heat). Sources: US National Library of Medicine, American Society of Gastrointentinal Endoscopy, Medicine.net