As robotics in medicine becomes more widely adopted, two new studies look at the cost and advantages and disadvantages of robotic surgery versus freehand surgery.
University of Stanford researchers conducted a multiyear analysis and study with 24,000 patients with kidney cancer who needed laparoscopic surgery to remove a patient’s kidney indicated that the two approaches had comparable patient outcomes and hospital stays. Researchers analyzed data from 416 hospitals across the country from 2003 to 2015 for the study.
Robotic-assisted laparoscopic procedures have increased since 2015 and surpassed conventional laparoscopic procedures according to Dr. Benjamin Chung, Associate Professor of Urology at the University of Stanford. Dr. Chung said in a press release that although there was no statistical difference in outcome or length of hospital stay, the robotic-assisted surgeries cost more and had a higher probability of prolonged operative time. Over the 13-year period of Stanford study, robotic surgeries cost on average $2,700 more per patient.
Mazor Robotics, a publicly-traded Israeli company that makes robotic guidance systems for spine and brain surgeries, conducted a small controlled study on the use of robotic-guided spine surgery with 379 patients. These results and the remaining data from the study, collected by 10 surgeons from nine states indicated that relative risk for a complication was 5.3 times higher in fluoro-guided surgeries compared to the robotic guidance; and relative risk for revision surgery was 7.1 times higher for a fluoro-guided surgery compared to the robotic guided cases.
“We believe the study takes a significant step forward in shifting the conversation of whether robotics have a place in the spine operating room,” said Ori Hadomi, CEO, Mazor Robotics.