Surgical robotics in otolaryngology: expanding the technology envelope

Christine G Gourin, David J Terris
Current Opinion in Otolaryngology & Head and Neck Surgery 2004, 12 (3): 204-8

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Surgical robotics arose as an extension of virtual reality and robotic technology developed by the United States Department of Defense. Current surgical robotic systems have been used to perform a variety of minimally invasive surgical procedures.

RECENT FINDINGS: The Food and Drug Administration recently granted approval for the clinical use of two surgical robotic systems. Laboratory and clinical experience suggests that the use of surgical robotics is associated with some distinct advantages and disadvantages when compared with conventional open procedures. Robotic surgery has recently been described in the head and neck, and as a result the otolaryngologist should have a basic understanding of the potential applications of surgical robotics in head and neck surgery.

SUMMARY: Surgical robotic technology is evolving but appears to have a distinct place in the surgical armamentarium.

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