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Highly-trained surgeons armed with a scalpel perform procedures faster than machines, at a lower cost - and do not make more mistakes.
Two studies - one by Leeds University and the other by Stanford University in the US - last night independently found robots did not reduce side effects or improve the patient’s health when compared to manual operations.
But they both found that robotic surgery took longer and was more expensive.
For the last 15 years robots have been increasingly used in the NHS, replacing the surgeon’s hand with the arm of a machine.
NHS - Robots - £1 - Hospitals - Trusts
The NHS has about 60 surgical robots, often bought for about £1.5million each by hospitals’ charitable trusts after local fundraising campaigns.
The most common type is the Da Vinci robot, which is comprised of four robotic arms controlled by a surgeon sitting at a console.
Machine - September - Gallbladder - Prostate - Kidney
The machine was first used in September 2000 to remove a gallbladder, and has since become frequently used for prostate, kidney and bladder surgery.
Some experts claim robotic surgery is more accurate, less subject to human error, and leads to quicker recovery, reduced pain and far less visible scarring.
Night - Studies - JAMA - Journal - Case
But last night two studies published in the JAMA medical journal suggested that might not be the case.
A 12-year study of nearly 24,000 kidney operations, conducted by Stanford University in California, found the differences in clinical outcomes and recovery period were indistinguishable, whether a surgeon or a robot had carried out the procedure.
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But they took longer - with 47 per cent of robotic operations taking more than four hours, compared to 26 per cent of manual operations.
A second study, by Leeds University,...
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