New Technological Advancements in Surgery

February 18, 2020 - Parul Saini, Webmedy Team

Updated Version - July 17, 2023

The field of surgery is witnessing an amazing collaboration between humans and technology, which could raise the level of accuracy and effectiveness of surgeries so high that we have never seen before.

What are some of the innovations in Surgery?

New methods, new technology, new techniques plus new ideas of using present systems or technology…there's always something new to list in regards to improvements in medical technology.

As optical imaging, robotics and different high-tech advancements add to higher accuracy and less invasive surgical procedures, the area is optimized to enhance surgical results by a notable measure shortly.

Will we have Matrix-like tiny surgical robots? Will they draw in and out parts of patients' bodies?

Well, this is possible. Just two years before, NASA teamed up with American medical company Virtual Incision to develop a robot that can be installed inside a patient's body and then commanded remotely by a surgeon.

Surgeons have huge responsibilities, in the sense that they might make irreversible injuries and medical miracles with one cut on the patient's body. No surprise that with the growth of digital technologies, the Operating Rooms and operators are flooded with new tools that aid in surgical procedures with minimum cuts possible.

So, here are cutting-edge advancements that will have a huge influence on the future of surgery.

  • MARVEL for Brain Surgery

    A six-year partnership between NASA and the Skull Base Institute has resulted in the production of a 3-D high definition endoscope with a rotating tip that they've named MARVEL (Multi-Angle Rear-Viewing Endoscopic tool). The small camera will enable surgeons to get a very well-defined 3-D view of a tumor when making a surgery. Finally, the creators of the device believe it will allow surgeons to do very complex, yet minimally invasive brain surgery, which could end in fewer difficulties and quicker recovery time for patients.

  • Surgical Robots

    Accept it or not, the da Vinci surgical robot was developed more than 15 years ago. Since that day, more and more surgeons have begun to use the robotics system in operating rooms to perform tricky surgeries. These robots are still monitored and guided by human surgeons, but thanks to their higher degree of durability and capacity to work in very small spaces, the robots can do operations with a higher degree of accuracy than human hands. Entirely automated surgical robots for easy tasks like sewing cuts have also started to get their path into the surgical theater.

  • Electrosurgical Technologies

    Electrosurgery is the application of a high-frequency (radio frequency) alternating polarity, electrical current to biological tissue as a means to cut, coagulate, desiccate, or fulgurate tissue. Electrosurgical tools, which use electrical power to do tasks, are used for making cuts and cleaning wounds. While those technologies are of significant usefulness, they also create dangerous by-products in the form of smoke. To promote their extended use in surgery, smoke discharge technologies have also had to be invented. Smoke pencils and other smoke removal tools, in particular, are speedily growing a standard tool in operating rooms because of their effectiveness in reducing this common environmental danger.

  • Virtual Reality Surgical Planning

    One side of surgery that is vital is the preparation phase, in which operators and support staff decide the best techniques and methods for operations on critical patients. This process can be lengthy and labor-intensive, but the idea of virtual reality for visualization has grown considerably in the past couple of years. Surgeons can instantly use VR technology, joined with reliable imaging scans, to plan the correct route of the operational process. This kind of planning is quicker and, in many cases, more strong than other traditional methods, providing for more moderate delay times before surgery and more effective service in the real operating room.

  • Smart Glasses

    Smart glasses have been invented since 2012, but still to be improved in how they can be used in the operating room. They signify a "mixed reality method," and inventors believe they will finally become a convenience in orthopedic surgery and other kinds of surgeries. Smart glasses are small computers, which combine a head-mounted monitor and video camera and can be attached to the internet or other computers. They can be utilized for a remote view of surgeries by video streaming, and to give important visions to surgeons during surgery. Szotek has used AMA Xpert Eye in the working room to cooperate with other surgeons, real stream videos to training classrooms, and record ideas. Remote specialists and trainees can record from his point of view and charts to his eye, and explain that material in real-time.

The speedy advancement of computational and automated technologies in the last many years has considerably helped surgeons and medical specialists who support them in the operating room. As these technologies proceed to grow and become more available to hospitals, they have the power to change surgical review and save countless more lives. For these and other high-tech medical devices, the future is looking greatly bright.

Even though technological advancements will slowly have more and more impact on the way surgeons go about performing surgeries as time goes by, the human factor will always be vital. Managing patients with empathy before and after surgery would ensure that a surgeon's duties are invaluable also in the age of robotics and artificial intelligence.

Helpful Information

What are the latest technological advancements in surgery?

The latest advancements in surgery include robotic surgery, AI-assisted diagnostics and procedures, augmented and virtual reality, 3D printing of surgical tools and implants, tele-surgery, nanotechnology, and the use of machine learning for predictive analytics.

How is robotics changing the landscape of surgery?

Robotic surgery offers precision and control that surpasses human capabilities, enhancing the surgeon's ability to perform complex procedures. Robots can minimize tremors and provide better access to hard-to-reach areas, resulting in smaller incisions, less pain, and quicker recovery times for patients.

What is the role of AI in surgical procedures?

AI can assist in surgical procedures by analyzing vast amounts of data to help with decision-making, predicting patient outcomes, and even guiding robotic surgery. It can also provide real-time imaging analysis during surgery, helping surgeons identify and avoid critical structures.

How are advancements in surgical imaging improving patient outcomes?

Advancements in surgical imaging, like intraoperative MRI and 3D imaging, provide surgeons with high-resolution, real-time visuals. This allows for precise navigation during surgery, helps in identifying all pathological tissues, and reduces the risk of damage to healthy tissue, leading to better patient outcomes.

How is minimally invasive surgery benefiting from new technology?

New technologies like robotic-assisted surgery, advanced laparoscopic tools, and enhanced imaging are making minimally invasive surgery more accurate and efficient. These advancements reduce patient trauma, minimize the risk of complications, shorten hospital stays, and speed up recovery times.

What impact does 3D printing have on surgical procedures?

3D printing is revolutionizing surgery by allowing for the creation of customized surgical tools and patient-specific anatomical models for pre-surgical planning. It's also used for making patient-tailored implants and prosthetics, enhancing the fit and function and reducing operation time.

How is virtual reality being used in surgery?

Virtual reality (VR) is primarily used in surgical training, allowing surgeons to practice procedures in a risk-free, virtual environment. Moreover, it's also utilized in preoperative planning, where surgeons can rehearse complex surgeries, enhancing precision and reducing operation time.

What is augmented reality surgery and how is it beneficial?

Augmented reality (AR) in surgery overlays digital information onto the real-world view of the surgeon, providing a real-time guide during procedures. This can enhance precision by providing information like blood vessel locations or tumor margins, and ultimately improve patient outcomes.

What are the latest advancements in laser surgery?

The latest advancements in laser surgery include ultra-precise femtosecond lasers and new procedures like laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT) for treating brain tumors. These advancements increase the precision of surgery, reduce trauma to surrounding tissues, and offer new treatment possibilities.

How does nanotechnology contribute to surgical procedures?

Nanotechnology in surgery is primarily used for targeted drug delivery, minimizing side effects and improving the effectiveness of treatment. Also, nanobots, though still experimental, hold promise for performing microsurgeries and delivering therapy directly to cells.

What is tele-surgery and how has it evolved with technological advancements?

Tele-surgery, or remote surgery, involves a surgeon performing a procedure on a patient who is located at a different geographical location, using robotic systems. Technological advancements like high-speed internet, low latency communication, and sophisticated robotics have made tele-surgery a reality, breaking down geographical barriers in healthcare.

How is machine learning applied in surgical procedures?

Machine learning can analyze vast amounts of data to predict patient outcomes, aid in diagnosis, and personalize treatment plans. During surgery, it can assist with real-time imaging analysis and guide robotic surgery, potentially improving surgical precision and outcomes.

What are the new advancements in surgical instruments?

New advancements in surgical instruments include robotic surgical systems, smart scalpels that can differentiate between types of tissue, and advanced laparoscopic tools equipped with cameras and lighting. These instruments enhance the surgeon's ability to perform precise, minimally invasive procedures.

How has surgical training evolved with new technology?

New technology like VR and AR has provided a new dimension to surgical training, enabling trainee surgeons to practice complex surgeries and learn from mistakes in a risk-free environment. AI and machine learning are also being used to create personalized training modules.

How are surgical outcomes being improved with big data and analytics?

Big data and analytics can process vast amounts of information to identify patterns, trends, and correlations that can influence surgical outcomes. This can guide decision-making in surgery, optimize surgical procedures, and personalize patient care.

How does new technology facilitate precision surgery?

New technology like robotic surgery, AI, AR, VR, and advanced imaging techniques all contribute to greater precision in surgery. They aid in accurate disease diagnosis, assist with intricate procedures, and help avoid damage to surrounding healthy tissues, thus improving patient outcomes.

What is the future of surgical technology?

The future of surgical technology lies in the further advancement and integration of AI, robotics, machine learning, nanotechnology, and other emerging technologies. This could lead to increased automation, more precise surgeries, better patient outcomes, and even the possibility of remote surgeries becoming commonplace.

How does technology enhance post-operative care and recovery?

Technology enhances post-operative care by enabling remote patient monitoring, providing virtual rehabilitation programs, and facilitating the use of wearable devices for tracking recovery progress. This helps provide personalized care and timely interventions, enhancing recovery and reducing readmission rates.

What is the role of automation in surgery?

Automation in surgery, often facilitated by AI and robotics, can perform repetitive tasks, provide precision in procedures, and assist with data analysis and decision making. This not only increases efficiency but also potentially reduces human errors, enhancing patient safety and outcomes.

How are wearable devices contributing to advancements in surgery?

Wearable devices can collect and send real-time health data before, during, and after surgery. This information can inform surgical decisions, monitor patient recovery, and alert healthcare providers to any potential complications, helping to personalize care and improve outcomes.


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