SCIENCE

Chile becomes the first country in Latin-America to apply robotic surgery

SANTIAGO – Osteoarthritis is one of the conditions that nowadays have a solution thanks to robotic surgery. Roberto Negrin of Clinica Las Condes, the first clinic to perform the surgery, assured that “the surgery itself is the same, but in this case we use a computer in order to store images and calculate the exact size of the prosthesis.”

The process of replacing a knee or a cartilage for a prosthesis is frequently made by robotic surgery in several countries around the world. Now this kind of procedure is available in Chile, placing the country at the top of the list of the most technologically advanced in Latin-America. The first patients that will be operated by using this technique are from Calama and Puerto Varas. Besides the surgery will take place in Clinica las Condes, where the robot Navio Surgical System is ready to be used by a team of specialist. Robotics will make it possible to practice a more precise surgical procedure, and also an improvement in matters of time and results.

Using a robot avoids surgeons to make mistakes due to the precision it provides, helping to delimit accurately where the sane tissue starts and finishes and securing the alignment of the prosthesis. As a result of that the possibility of failure or complications during the surgery are drastically reduced. According to Jaime Duboy, pioneer in robotic surgery in the branch of knee prosthesis in Chile: “counting on this new tool will make it possible to perform a more precise surgery, with better clinical results and longer duration of implant.” In addition the surgery for replacing the cartilage of the knee is common due to the wear of the tissue, but robotic surgery represents a great novelty in all Latin-America.

According to Clinica Las Condes surgeon Roberto Negrin: “the surgery consist in putting a prosthetic implant into an articulation that is already worn out because of osteoarthritis, this procedure is destined for patients whose previous treatments had not yielded any results.” In the same way a better colocation of the prosthesis in the patients will be achieved, as well as a faster recovering and better results. All of that would be a direct benefit for patients, said the traumatologist Magaly Iñiguez in an interview provided by CNN Chile.

Related to robotic surgery, a research done by the University of Pittsburgh in USA brought as a result the creation of the Orthopedic Robotics Laboratory in 2012. There, robotic technology has been under investigation and proof for examination of the functions of multiple joints such as knee, glenohumeral joint, acromioclavicular joint, spine, elbow, hip and ankle.  The mission of ORL is to prevent degenerative joint diseases by performing a better diagnostic and treatment, as well as rehabilitation procedures or repairing if necessary.

Scientists of the University of Pittsburgh demonstrated through a study in November 2016 that arthroplasty assisted by a robot can become a valuable tool in order to help surgeons to optimize the collocation of implants. In that order the technique allows to create new implants that fit in the knee, instead of the opposite way. According to Clinica Alemana, robotic surgery is a minimal invasive procedure that allows surgeons to operate through a four-arm robot. Each arm has tinny instruments that are inserted into a small incision made on the cavity to be treated. This way complex surgical interventions can be made with the minimal risk and in a record time. Finally Chile has joined for one more time to the technological revolution around the world, this time in terms of health.

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