IN VIVO LAPAROSCOPIC ROBOTICS
Robotic laparoscopic surgery is evolving to include in vivo robotic assistants (i.e. placing the robot completely within the human body). The impetus for the development of this technology is to provide surgeons with additional viewpoints and unconstrained manipulators that improve tissue manipulation, safety and reduce patient trauma. Currently available surgical robotic systems are implemented from outside the body and will therefore always be constrained to some degree by the limitations of working through small incisions. A family of robots have been developed to provide vision and task assistance from inside the body. Fixed-base and mobile robots have been designed and tested in animal models with much success. Operations involving the removal of a gall bladder, prostate or kidney have all been performed with the assistance of these robots. These early successful tests show how in vivo laparoscopic robotics may be part of the next advancement in surgical technology.
USAGE OF COMPLEMENTARY AND ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE (CAM) IN GENERAL SURGICAL PATIENTS
Analysis of 151 consecutive general surgical patients over three months showed that 40% used some form of complimentary or alternative medicine (CAM). The study to be published online by the INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SURGERY illustrates the growth in the usage of CAM amongst surgical patients. The demographics of CAM use were: 47% of Caucasians, compared to 29% of African-Americans; 44% were females and 48% of patients had a cancer diagnosis. Dr Vic Velanovich lead author of the study commented: "Surgeons should make inquiry as to the use of alternative medical treatments, especially herbal medications, in there patients. Patients should volunteer this information if not asked because of the potential harmful interactions with anesthesia and other treatments."
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