Throughout the world, robotic technology is
quickly becoming a preferred option to traditional, open surgery. Not long ago
in the 1980s, laparoscopic surgery was introduced to the operating room and its
use has extended to many surgical procedures. Medicine and technology have
advanced once again as the newest type of surgery that is being performed at
The Princess Margaret is robotic surgery.
In robotic surgery, the surgeon’s hands never
touch the patient but rather, small incisions allow for robotic arms to move
the camera and surgical instruments with precision. The surgeon sits at a
console directing the robot’s actions using “joysticks” or pedals. The
surgeon’s hand movements are scaled and seamlessly translate into precise
movements of the instruments inside the patient.
Currently, The Princess Margaret uses robotics
in surgeries for patients who present with prostate cancer or a gynecologic
cancer, in particular uterine cancer. Dr. Marcus Bernardini, a Gynecologic Oncologist in the Department of Gynecologic Oncology at
The Princess Margaret, is familiar with using
robotics in surgery when he treats patients with gynecologic cancers.
Dr. Bernardini and other robotic surgeons prefer
this type of surgery as there are many benefits to the patient such as
increased precision of surgery, decreased risk of infections compared to open
surgery, less post-operative pain in patients, shorter hospital stays and a
speedier recovery time with less scarring.
“Throughout the world, robots are being used to
provide patients with more accurate surgical procedures and better outcomes,” says
Dr. Bernardini. “As one of the top cancer research centres, we are in a perfect
position to be leaders in gynecologic oncology robotic surgery – what better
place than at The Princess Margaret, to take advantage of this technology.”
With funds from The Shoppers Drug Mart Weekend
to End Women’s Cancers, more women have access to robotics surgery at The
Princess Margaret. Thanks to all of the walkers who have helped provide this
option for women who need it throughout the GTA.