By Steve Smith
If you’ve ever wondered about robotic surgery – its risks and rewards, benefits to patient and surgeon, the outcomes, the industry and its prognosis in the face of the surgical community’s skepticism – then I recommend this story in the September 30, 2019 issue of The New Yorker.
D.T. Max shadows Dr. Pier Giulianotti, professor of surgery at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, observing surgeries that Dr. Giulianotti performs remotely, using only a robotic system called da Vinci, sitting at its console rather than standing over the patient manipulating laporoscopic instruments.
It’s a world that was once only imagined. And the technology behind the system he’s using was originally developed as a means of allowing surgeons to repair soldiers’ battlefield wounds remotely, while stationed safely behind enemy lines.
The university is opening a new robotic surgery center next year. Mr. Max mentions the most generous private donor is a satisfied former patient of Dr. Giulianotti.