Greater precision and safety, faster recovery of patients, fewer scars and the possibility using flourescence-guided surgery (using an imaging technique to examine the lymphatic system) are the main advantages of the new surgical robot 'Da Vinci'.
The robot has been at Malaga's Regional Hospital (previously Carlos Haya) since last May, replacing another that had been used since 2007, and is currently situated in the Hospital Civil. Costing two-and-a-half-million euros, it is expected to perform more than 140 surgical procedures per year.
Minister of Health, Marina Álvarez, recently visited the operating rooms where the robot is kept.
She emphasised how the robotic surgery uses the most advanced technology to perform minimally invasive operations.
The minister also explained that the surgeon does not operate directly himself but by using a console placed close to the patient which allows him to have a 3D image. Da Vinci is equipped with arms that can operate with great precision and reach places in the body that are very difficult to access with other surgical techniques.
All this means improvements for the patient, who will have fewer incisions, less bleeding and postoperative pain and also require less blood transfusions.
At the moment, three departments have access to the robot: urology (60% of all operations are performed by urologists), gynaecology and general and digestive surgery.
All of these departments operate on various types of cancerous tumours, as well as other conditions which require surgery such as endiometriosis.
In the future, the robot will be able to work in other specialist fields.