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Can Lung Cancer Be Treated with Robotic Surgery?

Daniel Marcus';

By Daniel Marcus

Posted on August 7th, 2020 in Marina Robotics

In 2018, robotic procedures accounted for over 15% of all surgeries performed in the United States.

There is no doubt that robotic surgery is becoming more and more popular by virtue of the benefits it entails, such as faster recovery, less time spent in the hospital, reduced pain and discomfort, minimal scarring and decreased blood loss.

People who struggle with lung cancer which is stage 1 or 2, as well as those with neoadjuvant cases, are usually eligible for robotic surgery to remove the malignant tumors from their bodies.

It is estimated that 14% of people who develop a malignant disease have lung cancer. Lung cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among both men and women throughout the country and worldwide, with breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men being the first.

How Is Robotic Surgery for Lung Cancer Performed?

During robotic surgery, the medical professional will make several tiny incisions in your chest, through which the arms of the equipment will be subsequently inserted. The surgeon will also remove health tissue surrounding the tumors to make sure cancer has not spread to those areas. There are multiple types of robotic surgery for lung cancer patients, such as the following:

  • robotic wedge section: the surgeon removes a small portion of the lung, as well as the tumor, and a certain amount of healthy tissue around it
  • robotic sub-lobar resection: the surgeon removes a part of the lung that has the tumor in it and some normal portion of the surrounding lung
  • robotic lobectomy: the surgeon removes the entire damaged lobe

All of the procedures also involve the surgeon taking a sample of the surrounding tissue, which will afterward be sent to a pathologist to see whether cancer has spread to other parts of the body. The pathologist will examine the tissue sample for malignant cells, which, if they are present, means that the disease has metastasized to the surrounding areas of the lungs.

Is Robotic Surgery Safe?

Robotic surgery is minimally invasive and implies even more benefits than laparoscopic surgery. The procedure is performed without opening the chest cavity, which will guarantee a fast recovery. In general, the patient will only have to spend 2 or 3 nights in the hospital following robotic surgery for lung cancer. Most patients with operable lung cancer are eligible for robotic surgery, as their cancer is not very advanced and the malignant tumors can thereby be resected. Furthermore, according to recent medical studies, undergoing robotic surgery for lung cancer may prolong your life expectancy.

While robotic surgery may sound like it implies a computer performing the procedure instead of a surgeon, this is not actually true. The surgeon is constantly in charge of the operations the computer is performing to the lungs of the patient. There is no point in which the system automates any of the steps in your surgery or makes decisions without the direct input of your surgeon. The following are only some of the benefits of lung cancer robotic surgery:

  • fast recovery
  • minimal scarring
  • decreased risk of infection
  • less bleeding
  • a shorter hospitalization time
  • reduced pain and discomfort
  • low risk of complications
  • minimally invasive
  • no need for blood transfusion

If you have lung cancer and would like to undergo robotic surgery, the surgeons at Cedars Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital can provide you with this procedure in a warm and calm environment. We specialize in performing robotic surgery for people with stage 1 or 2 lung cancer, as these are the only patients eligible for robotic surgery. For additional information, do not hesitate to contact our hospital and our medical staff will gladly answer all your questions and address all your concerns. After a thorough evaluation of your health, our robotic surgeons will be able to tell you with certainty if you qualify for this type of procedure for your lung cancer.