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David W. Page

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Member Since: Dec, 2008

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· Code Blue - a writer's guide to hospitals, including the ER, OR, and ICU

· The Phoenix Prescription

· Body Trauma - a writer's guide to wounds and injuries

· A Little Truth About Ermergency Rooms

· How do you choose a surgeon?

· When Patients and Doctors Don't Hear Each Other

· What if Your Characters Get Sick?

· Is Hastening Death Ever Right?

· Good news for smart patients

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Books by
David W. Page

Body Trauma - a writer's guide to wounds and injuries

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Code Blue - a writer's guide to hospitals, including the ER, OR, and ICU

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The Phoenix Prescription

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Blogs by David W. Page

Should I Ask For Robotic Surgery?
6/5/2012 10:40:20 AM    [ Flag as Spam or Inappropriate ]

Robots are swiftly becoming part of our lives. In surgery the use of robotics has surged but isn't a clear-cut trend to improvement in care. Sure it's easy to list the advantages of using a robot - for the surgeon: stable field, tremor filter, 3-D view with 10X maagnification, improved dexterity, improved ergonomics (less strain and fatigue), and shorter learrning curves. In controlled studies, it works well if used by a truly esperienced surgeon. And that's the rub. There is little connection between what our few studies have suggested is enough cases to assure competence - usually between thirty and fifty cases under supervision - and what the people selling the robots are saying is enough training. The folks selling the machines suggest that every surgeon's learning curve is different. And the hospitals that buy the expensive machines want their surgeons using it pronto (Google robotic surgery malpractie cases).

Here we go again - if you've read any of my other blogs you know that you have to ask how many robotic cases your surgeon has done. And, you have to ask what scientific studies support the use of the robot for your particular type of operation. The practice of surgery is a little fuzzy in places currently. For example in one study robotic removal of the thyroid gland (in the neck) was compared to 'conventional endoscopic' thyroid gland removal. There is no conventional endoscopic thyroid technique! They are all experimental. So the study compares an unacceptable operation to another even less accepted operation for the thyroid gland. In fact - this is where it gets truly crazy -there are about twenty ways to remove the thyoid gland! Yet, for most surgeons the most safe operation is with a neck incision.

Final craziness about less invasive surgery (which by the way is the best way to go for many common surgical problems). Breast surgeons are putting their incisions in the armpit to hide the scar while thyroid surgeons are putting their incisions on the breast (yes folks) to avoid a neck incision. For one of the common diseases - gallstones - the robotic approach is more expensive and provides no benefit over standard laparoscopic gallbladder removal.

REMEMBER: Sexy usually isn't safe in the operating room.

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More Blogs by David W. Page
• Is the doctor's exam worth it? - Monday, May 04, 2015
• Who am I? Your advocate for safe surgery - Friday, April 24, 2015
• Why Might Your Operation be Cancelled? - Monday, April 06, 2015
• Beware of Open Breast Biopsies - Monday, March 02, 2015
• Hospital failure events - Monday, February 02, 2015
• End of year thoughts on patient advocacy - Tuesday, December 23, 2014
• SAFE SURGERY - Fifty facts you need to know if you are having an operation - Monday, September 22, 2014
• A new ebook on groin hernias is on its way - Thursday, August 07, 2014
• When Surgeons Blog About Themselves - Monday, May 05, 2014
• The First Fifty Things You Need to Know If You Are Having Surgery - Friday, January 24, 2014
• A New Medical Information Project - Monday, December 30, 2013
• Distracting Trainees in the OR - Wednesday, March 13, 2013
• LessTraining Time, Less Fatigue, No Improvement in Patient Safety - Wednesday, February 27, 2013
• Texting, emails, videos - why your doctor doesn't know who you are? - Monday, January 14, 2013
•  Should I Ask For Robotic Surgery? - Tuesday, June 05, 2012  
• What's the best hernia repair? - Tuesday, August 23, 2011
• Hospitals in July - beware - Tuesday, June 28, 2011
• I'm back - Monday, June 20, 2011
• Off Shore Medical Schools - Wednesday, March 17, 2010
• Why Jonny Can't Operate - Sunday, February 07, 2010
• A Big Operation is an Opportunity for Smokers - Wednesday, December 16, 2009
• Can You Find a Doctor? - Tuesday, September 15, 2009
• Boasting time - Friday, June 26, 2009
• July's Coming to Your Hospital - Wednesday, June 24, 2009
• Training doctor work hours - Tuesday, May 26, 2009
• What's a SPEDI recovery from surgery? - Monday, May 11, 2009
• NOTES? - Thursday, May 07, 2009
• Your surgeon's abilities - Wednesday, April 22, 2009

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