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Robot-assisted surgery or robotic surgery is a new age surgical procedure that helps a doctor to perform complicated procedures with better flexibility and more precision. This is essentially a union of high-end technology and the hand-eye co-ordination of a skilled surgeon. It helps a doctor to have a highly magnified, 3D high definition image of the human anatomy. The procedure is performed by making tiny incisions with the help of consoles in the robotic machine. Robotic surgery has found varied application in surgeries, primarily in cancers related to the kidney, colon, rectum, Uterus, stomach, esophagus and so on.
About the robotic surgery procedure:
This process of surgery was approved by the FDA in 2000 in the US. Since then it has been rapidly adopted by hospitals across US, Europe, and Asia. Typically, robotic instruments include a mechanical arm and a camera arm along with surgical instruments attached to it. The surgeon takes control of the mechanical arm and the console gives a 3D view to perform the procedure.
Primary Advantages of Robotic Surgery
For a surgeon, robotic surgery means greater precision, more control, and better outcome. For a patent, robotic surgery essentially means fewer complications, reduced blood loss, less pain, reduced chances of infection at the site, fewer scars etc. The recovery time for a patient also reduces substantially, which in turn implies lesser number of days in the hospital.
How is robotic surgery helpful for cancer patients?
Cancer surgeries are complicated in most of the cases. Having said this, an increased number of surgical oncologists are getting inclined to robotic surgeries for performing cancer-related procedures with greater amount of precision. As many cancer surgeries are technically demanding and take a prolonged time, Robotic surgery helps the surgeon perform a better job due its optics and better precision and control. However, the scope of robotic surgery varies on the type of cancer a patient is suffering from. Not all cancer-related surgeries qualify for robotic surgeries.
What are the risks involved in robotic surgery?
Like any open surgery, robotic surgeries have risks associated with them. The risks invovlved will be related to the organ being operated upon. There are no specific complications due to the Robot per se.
Which kind of patients qualify for robotic surgery?
Not all patients qualify for robotic surgery. This form of invasive surgery is only possible if a doctor feels that there is less amount of complications involved during the procedure. After weighing the risks, a doctor takes a call on whether or not to go ahead with a robotic surgery.
A rare type of cancer (accounting for about 1% of all the cancer types affecting men), testicular cancer is a condition where cancerous outgrowths take place in one or both of the testes (often the germ cells). The incidence of testicular cancer is lower among the African or Asian males as compared to the American males (especially in the age group of 15-35 years).
Testicular cancer can be of two types- Seminomas and Nonseminomas
1) Seminomas: Sensitive to radiation therapy, seminomas are slow growing testicular cancer found to affect men mostly in their 30's and 40's.
2) Nonseminomas: Unlike the seminomas, nonseminomas are fast growing testicular cancer.
However, there is some good news related to testicular cancer. Reports suggest quite a majority of men with testicular cancer have shown remarkable progress and recovered fully. In fact, of all the cancer types, testicular cancer has the highest success rate (more than 90%) when treated on time.
The symptoms characteristic of testicular cancer:
A person with testicular cancer may exhibit the following symptoms and discomfort. In most of the case, the cancerous outgrowth is found to affect only one of the testicles.
1) A lump may appear in one or both the testicles. The testicles may also undergo an enlargement (one or both).
2) In some cases, there may also be a chest/breast(s) enlargement.
3) A person may experience pain and discomfort in the testicle or in the scrotum. At times, the scrotum may also feel heavy.
4) There may be a backache. Some people may also complain of a dull pain the groin or in the stomach.
5) At times, testicular cancer may result in some fluids collecting in the scrotum (the condition may occur suddenly without any previous case history).
People with a family history of testicular cancer as well as those suffering from Klinefelter syndrome (a chromosomal aberration affecting males whereby a person is born with an extra X chromosome) should be careful as incidences of testicular cancer are higher in such men.
Diagnosis and Treatment
In addition to the physical examinations and the associated symptoms, the following tests go a long way in the accurate diagnosis of testicular cancer.
1) Blood tests to determine the level of certain markers (such as Beta-Human chorionic gonadotropin, Alpha-fetoprotein) indicative of testicular cancer. The concentration of these markers in the blood is found to be quite high in the case of testicular cancer.
2) In case a lump appears in the testicle, an ultrasound can play a significant role in understanding the nature of the lump better and diagnosing testicualr cancer.
1)If the diagnosis indicates a cancerous lump (or chances of it being malignant), we perform a Radical Inguinal Orchiectomy to remove the affected testicle for further analysis wich is boht diagnostic and therapeutic.
2)There may also be a need to remove the draining lymph nodes (to prevent testicular cancer from invading the lymph nodes), a procedure termed as Retroperitoneal Lymph Node Dissection.
3)In addition to the above surgical procedures, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy play an instrumental role in increasing the effectiveness of the treatment and curing testicular cancer.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Laparoscopy essentially means a surgical technique that aims at minimizing the trauma of general surgery. This is also known as minimally-invasive surgery. This procedure can take the form of endoscopic and robotic technique as well. The laparoscopic technique involves making small incisions, the involvement of a camera and removing/ operating the affected part with the help of light through machines.
Laparoscopic technique in cancer: Laparoscopic surgeries are being extensively used for removal of the colon, rectum, stomach, uterus, kidney, lymph node removal etc. The laparoscopic procedure helps to reduce the size of the incision, reduce pain related complications, reduce the hospital stay and a quicker recovery period.
How old is the process?
It’s been a couple of decades since the first procedure of laparoscopy was performed. The first procedure was a gallbladder removal followed by a kidney removal. Laparoscopic procedures for cancer surgeries have only come into effect in the last 5-6 years. Since most cancer surgeries are complicated and demand a holistic involvement of a surgeon, this procedure is not followed by too many surgeons. This being said, cancer-related to the kidney, abdomen and gall bladder, laparoscopic treatments are getting more preference among surgeons.
Understanding the benefits of Laparoscopic surgery
The biggest advantage of this procedure is the minimization of pain. Apart from this, some other benefits include less bleeding, shorter duration of stay at the hospital, less scarring etc. Having said this, a lot of these factors depend on the type and location of the surgery. Typically, cancer-related surgeries involve intense pain and high recovery time. A laparoscopic procedure can help in this regard.
Know the risks involved: Every operation has its fair share of risks and complication- be it conventional surgery or laparoscopic surgery and inexperienced hands and complex surgeries can make the matter worse. Some bigger risks involved in laparoscopic procedures include complications related to the anesthesia, injury to other organs, internal infections and the risk of punctures. Patients who have undergone surgeries before runs more risk than the one who has not undergone any operation.
Cost involved: The cost involved for laparoscopic surgeries are comparatively lesser than conventional surgeries. Then again, the location and complication of the surgery also pay a deciding factor of the final cost involved. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Colon cancer as indicative of the name is cancer primarily affecting the colon or the large intestine. While colon cancer is considered the third most common type of cancer affecting people worldwide, it is also one of the most preventable types of cancer, if diagnosed and treated on time.
Colon cancer does not suddenly turn malignant and life-threatening. In quite a few cases, the tumor appears benign, also known as Adenomatous Polyps. With the passage of time, the adenomatous polyps (some, if not all) progress into colon cancer. In this article, I will emphasize upon the causes and proper management of colon cancer.
What acts as the trigger for colon cancer?
Like most of the other cancer forms, the exact cause of colon cancer is hard to decipher. However, in many cases, gene mutations have been found to play a pivotal role resulting in cancer formation in the colon. The mutations, as expected, is often an inheritable trait that can be passed on to subsequent generations. The following inheritable mutations make a person as well as their immediate family more susceptible to developing colon cancer.
1. FAP or Familial Adenomatous Polyposis is characterized by the formation of many polyps within the lining of the rectum and the large intestine. These polyps though start off as a noncancerous mass of cells have the potential to develop into cancerous cells over a time period. Thus, the condition should be treated at the earliest as people (FAP left unattended) stand a near 100% risk of suffering from colon cancer before reaching 40.
2. Lynch syndrome is another inheritable medical disorder that results from the mutation in the gene that is responsible for DNA mismatch repair. With the gene unavailable for the repair, the DNA undergoes damage with deleterious consequences. Also known as Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer, the condition often plays a significant role in the development of colon cancer, especially in people below 50 years.
3. Further, an unhealthy diet comprising primarily of high fat and low fiber foods can wreak havoc, with colon cancer being one of the possible consequence. Increased consumption of red meat, processed meat as well as alcohol can also act as a catalyst triggering colon cancer.
4. Obese as well as diabetic patients also stand a higher risk of suffering from colon cancer.
Management and Proper Care
As per reports, colon cancer is one of the least prevented types of cancer worldwide. There can be a myriad of factors responsible for the late detection and treatment. Proper care and management can go a long way to reduce the incidence of colon cancer.
2. People above 40 years and those with a family history of colon cancer should undergo regular health checkups and screenings.
3. Keep a check on your body weight. Drinking and smoking, if at all, should be within limits.
4. Take care of the diet. Avoid eating fatty foods on a regular basis. Consume more dietary fiber.
5. Lead an active and healthy lifestyle. Be involved in any active exercise/sports or at the minimal walking.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!