Do Robots actually allow for Advanced Prostate Cancer Treatment?
Wherever you read up these days about how to get a job, time and time again, you get to read the same message – get more education and update your skills if you wish to stay current in demand. Read something like that you probably think of a nurse getting a higher degree, a factory worker getting a diploma in computers or something like that. You probably don’t think of a top flight surgeon with no patient willing to seek treatment unless he updates his skills. But that exactly is what is happening today to skilled and experienced urologist surgeons trained and experienced in traditional surgery. Their way has always been pretty good – they make a laparoscopic incision in the patient, put surgical instruments in with their own hands while watching the goings-on with an inserted camera, locate by sight what they need to excise and do so with precision. But now, patients just don’t want any of this primitive stuff. They will only hear of really advanced prostate cancer treatment options – specifically, ones that involve having a robot operate on them.
It’s the latest thing. There is this remote-controlled robot with a really slender and tiny precision-controlled limbs that a qualified surgeon operates sitting at a kind of fancy videogame terminal elsewhere. It’s kind of like the way pilots working for the Air Force control unmanned drones in Afghanistan and Pakistan by remote control sitting somewhere in America. Granted, robotic prostate surgery does cost an extra couple thousand dollars; but it sounds so fancy, that patients are just not willing to consider the old-fashioned way anymore. They feel that the kind of precision and reach that a purpose-built robot can have, a human doctor never will. They interview doctors, and if there is no robotic surgery on the menu, they go somewhere that does.
The problem is, no one has actually proven that things turn out for the better when you use a robot. There are positives attached to using the robot of course – chief among which is the way being operated by robots causes fewer infections and complications while in hospital. But there are other serious problems that robots can cause. When you get operated by a robot for a prostate problem, you can expect impotence and incontinence far more often.
All this confusion is something that can be a money spinner for a business. A lot of marketing hype has come in to take advantage. There are misleading advertisements that are worded as if to mean that advanced prostate cancer treatment using robots gives you better results; but they also try to wriggle free of any commitment by using language to deny it. But Americans are clearly buying it. Would you believe that nine out of ten prostate surgeries in America now are done by robots? There is no other kind of medical treatment that has ever taken over a field like this, this quickly.
Researchers and experts have absolutely no idea at this point that robots mean an improvement for the patient. But still, we have patients insisting all over the place that they will either go under to a robot or not at all. And we wonder why medical care in America gets more expensive every year. It’s all the useless innovations.