There can be no question that robotics, lasers, and other automated advancements are the future of cosmetic and dermatological surgery. While robotic surgery may still seem like science fiction, in reality, robotic tech has been used to aid in surgical procedures since the mid-80’s. Robotics are particularly apt for dermatological surgeries, as many of the procedures involve pinpoint injections, incisions, and much more.
Today, we will examine robotic dermatological surgeries by discussing the history of robotics uses for surgical procedures, how robotics are being used in dermatological surgeries today, and the benefits of robot assistance in cosmetic procedures now and into the future.
A Brief History of Robotics for Surgical Applications
The definition of the word “robotics” is relatively simple: anything having to do with the design, construction, or application of robots. Robots can be considered any piece or pieces of machinery which are designed to mimic human activity. There is a common misconception that robots must be intelligent to be considered robots. In fact, robots can be as simple as a machine which performs a single action repeatedly so long as that action is humanlike in nature.
With this in mind, here are some of the highlights of the history of robotics usage in modern surgical applications:
- 1985: PUMA 560 robotic arm is the first robotic implement ever used in a surgical procedure. The PUMA system was used to perform a neurosurgical biopsy, and was considered a success. This initial application proved that robotics were a legitimate branch of surgical medicine.
- 1987: the first laparoscopic procedure performed by a robot is a success. The cholecystectomy goes off without a hitch and further legitimizes surgical robotics.
- 1990: the brand new AESOP robotics system is approved by the FDA to perform endoscopic surgical procedures.
- 2000: the now famous Da Vinci Surgical system is introduced and approved by the FDA. The Da Vinci system is frequently used for general laparoscopic procedures including prostatectomies.
- 2010’s and beyond: since the early 2000’s robotic applications have expanded to a number of different surgical procedures, primarily those that are minimally invasive and superficial in nature.
Current Uses of Robotics in Dermatological Surgery
So how are robotics used in dermatological surgeries today? As we mentioned in the introduction, dermatology is the perfect field to utilize many of the strengths of robotic surgeries. It should also be noted that in its current state, most so called “robotic surgeries” would be more accurately described as robot-assisted surgeries. This is a key distinction as very few procedures, if any, rely 100 percent on robotics to perform operations from beginning to end.
Robot assisted surgery in dermatology is widely used today for cosmetic procedures including filler injections, fat loss surgeries, laser treatments, and much more. As with all robot assisted surgeries, the surgeon remains in complete control of the robotic applications at all times. We anticipate that the acceptance and usage of these robotic procedures will continue to grow in coming years.
It has been shown that incisions made by robotic surgeries and laparoscopic surgeries are less invasive, create lesser scarring, and are more accurate overall (more on this below). As with many burgeoning technologies, it is generally the human element which will slow progress. As robotics advances, surgeons must update their training to perform new procedures safely and effectively.
Robotic Cosmetic Procedures More Accurate
So with all of the hassle and inconvenience surrounding robot assisted surgeries, what are the benefits that make it all worthwhile? There are a few key reasons why robot assisted surgeries are beneficial when compared to manual methods:
- Robotic actions are more accurate. It should come as no surprise that yes, robots are more accurate than human beings when it comes to making laser cuts, scalpel incisions, injections, and other actions. As it pertains to dermatological and cosmetic surgeries, the value of accuracy cannot be overstated.
- Robotics actions are able to be made on a smaller scale. On a similar note, robots are not limited by human limitations when it comes to working on very small sites. Thanks to the accuracy and precision of robotic assisted procedures, “cosmetic treatments are much safer with a significantly reduced chance of adverse events occurring such as burns and spotty hypopigmentation”.
- Irradiation treatments are more effective with robot assistance. Irradiation is one of the areas in which robot-guided technology shines the brightest. With pinpoint accuracy, robotic irradiation treatments are more effective and safer than traditional, manual methods.
SCALE 2020 is the Dermatological Party of the Year!
This July 22-25th, join us at the world famous Music City Convention Center in downtown Nashville for SCALE 2020! The annual Symposium for Cosmetic Advances & Laser Education is bigger and better than ever. We are proud to present a wide range of exhibitors and sponsors who will be discussing topics ranging from robotic dermatological surgeries to acne to non-invasive cosmetic procedures. Register now to reserve your spot to the premier multidisciplinary meeting for aesthetic medicine, surgery and dermatology in the United States!