According to a recent study by Ipsos, published in Corriere della Sera, in 2018 more than 20 thousand robotic surgery operations were performed in Italy. The research, which involved hundreds of people in Lombardy, wanted to understand what is the attitude and awareness of citizens and patients interviewed about artificial intelligence and robotic surgery.

As explained in Corriere della Sera, IPSOS Senior Researcher, “Robotic surgery is progressively becoming part of the information baggage of Lombard citizens: 86% of those interviewed have heard about it. What is even more surprising, however, is the widespread trust – 74% – in the robotic approach and its related advantages, 61%”.

At the same time, however, 76% of those interviewed stressed the importance of updating and training surgeons: “On the one hand, the needs of the patients are changing and, at the same time, the skills of the doctors must also be changed: from this came the idea, again in 2011, for example, of the first Italian master’s degree I coordinated in robotic urology”, said Professor Giorgio Guazzoni, head of the Operating Unit of the Urology Operating Unit of Humanitas.

Robotic surgery in otorhinolaryngology

From urology to abdominal surgery, from gynecology to otorhinolaryngology: in the last few years, robotics has also entered the operating room to treat benign or tumoral diseases of the oral cavity. Professor Giuseppe Spriano, head of the Operational Unit of Otorhinolaryngology at Humanitas, spoke about it in an interview, again for Corriere della Sera.

Thanks to artificial intelligence and technology, the doctor operates the patient from a ‘console’ and controls three arms: “on one of these is mounted a 3D camera, while the other two have at the end two small hands that reproduce exactly the movements of the hands and fingers of the surgeon.

The advantages of robotic surgery

Thanks to the use of robots in the operating room, “through the camera the surgeon’s eye enters the mouth of the patient – said the otorhinolaryngologist – and the excellent lighting system allows the surgeon to see at best even the areas that would be hidden from direct vision”. Robotics allow you to see ‘around the corner’, perform a variety of surgical maneuvers, and even reach areas inaccessible with traditional surgery, such as the deeper areas of the pharynx and larynx.

“In general, robotic surgery is more conservative and less invasive: patients operated on the oral cavity with this method recover swallowing and the ability to speak more quickly”.

What operations are performed in otorhinolaryngology with robotic surgery?

“We use robotic surgery, for example, to intervene at the base of the tongue in patients suffering from obstructive sleep apnea – explained Spriano -, but also for laryngeal and pharyngeal tumors, which are removed through the mouth and not through the neck or the jaw as was previously done”.