Doctors as Good as Robots, Study Finds

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When it comes to patient outcome, it seems that there is very little difference in the manner in which cystectomies are performed, be it the traditional way or robot-assisted.

A group of doctors wanting to test the premise that technology-assisted surgical interventions are somehow superior conducted a study with the help of 15 U.S. medical centers. The results were more than surprising.

Medicine is one area where technological advancements have provided some of the most important contributions. From nanoparticles that specifically target cancer cells to artificial organs, to genome editing, and everything in between.

As robot-assisted surgeries are becoming more widespread, the notion that they are also inherently safer seems to gather more momentum. A RAZOR study shows that, in fact, things are not as clear-cut.

The trial involved 350 patient scheduled for cystectomy, over a period of three years. They were randomly assigned either to undergo an open surgery or a robotic one.

In the end, the results were very close. Two years after the surgery, 72.3% of patients operated on with robotic support were alive and presented no signs recurrence, and out of those, 67% had some sort of adverse effect (most commonly, urinary infections). Out the ones having open surgery 71.6% were alive and 69% showed some slight adverse effects.

Post-operatory conditions are also similar. Open surgery lasts less, but requires a seven-day stay in the hospital, while assisted surgery lasts a bit longer on average, but patients can be discharged after six days of stay.

As a conclusion, Dr. Gopal Gupta mentioned that “It is important to conduct these trials before widespread adoption