About 100 thousand Americans will go under the knife for gastric bypass surgery this year. It is a difficult surgery, but now, surgeons at Stanford University Medical Center are the first in the country to use a robot throughout the entire procedure to help with the tedious stuff in gastric bypass surgery.
In this procedure, the surgeon sits at a special station and controls every move the robot makes. Dr. Myriam Curet says "the robot actually does the surgery itself. So, we use the robot to pick up the intestine and run the intestines, and we use the robot to suture the intestine. The technology is great. You know, an opportunity to do something that's great for the patient in a way that makes it safer, easier, more precise".
The robot uses more precise instruments and allows surgeons to see the organs in 3D, and it also reduces operating time. But the robot is not cheap labor. Stanford paid a million dollars for this mechanical assistant. So, right now it's not cost effective for widespread use. But doctors at Stanford say they're working on that too.