Author Interviews, JAMA, Kidney Disease, Surgical Research / 25.10.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: In Gab Jeong, MD Associate Professor Department of Urology, Asan Medical Center University of Ulsan College of Medicine Seoul, Korea MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Use of robotic surgery has increased in urological practice over the last decade especially for the surgery that was difficult to perform with laparoscopic techniques such as radical prostatectomy for prostate cancer or partial resection of kidney cancer. However, the use, outcomes, and costs of robotic nephrectomy are unknown. We examined the trend in use of robotic-assisted operations for radical nephrectomy in the United States and compared the perioperative outcomes and costs with laparoscopic radical nephrectomy. The proportion of radical nephrectomies using robotic-assisted operations increased from 1.5% in 2003 to 27.0% in 2015. Although there was no significant difference between robotic-assisted vs laparoscopic radical nephrectomy in major postoperative complications, robotic-assisted procedures were associated with longer operating time and higher direct hospital costs. The rate of prolonged operating time (>4 hours) for patients undergoing the robotic-assisted procedure was higher than for patients receiving the laparoscopic procedure (46.3% vs 25.8%; risk difference, 20.5%; 95% CI, 14.2% to 26.8%). Robotic-assisted radical nephrectomy was associated with higher mean 90-day direct hospital costs ($19530 vs $16851; difference, $2678; 95% CI, $838 to $4519).
Abuse and Neglect / 24.10.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_37698" align="alignleft" width="262"]Ben-Gurion University of the Negev student researcher Shir Kashi interacts with robotic arm as part of her research in personalizing human-robot interactions to develop an interactive movement protocol for rehabilitation. Ben-Gurion University of the Negev student researcher Shir Kashi interacts with robotic arm as part of her research in personalizing human-robot interactions to develop an interactive movement protocol for rehabilitation.[/caption] Shelly Levy-Tzedek, PhD Head of the Cognition, Aging and Rehabilitation Lab Faculty of Health Sciences, Dept. of Physical Therapy & The Zlotowski Center for Neuroscience The Ben Gurion University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Following brain injury, patients who need to practice their physical therapy exercises at home. Many don’t practice enough or at all at home, and so we are designing robot companions to encourage them to practice and to track their progress. This study is a first step towards this goal. Here, we studied how people played a leader-follower mirror game with a robotic arm, where a person and robot took turns following each other's joint movements patterns. When the robotic arm was leading, it performed movements that were either sharp, like dribbling a ball, or smooth, like tracing a circle.
Author Interviews, JAMA, Surgical Research, Technology / 25.06.2015

Vanita Ahuja, MD, MPH  Department of General Surgery York Hospital, York, PennsylvaniaMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Vanita Ahuja, MD, MPH  Department of General Surgery York Hospital, York, Pennsylvania MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Ahuja: Robotic-assisted surgery has been slowly accepted within the medical community. Felger et al. (1999), Falk et al. (2000), and Loumet et al. (2000) state that specific to cardiac surgery, the advantages of the robot in coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) and valvular operations were demonstrated with increased visualization, ease of harvest, and quality of vascular anastomoses as early as 1999. However, Giulianotti, et al. (2003), Morgan et al. (2005), and Barbash et al. (2010) suggest that although safety and efficacy are supported, it is not conclusive yet that robot-assisted surgery is cost-effective, given the high cost of the robot itself, longer operating times, and the short life of the robotic instruments. The purpose of our paper was to compare outcomes of complications, length of stay (LOS), actual cost, and mortality between non-robotic and robotic-assisted cardiac surgery. In general surgery and subspecialties, the use of the robot has increased significantly over the past few years. It has been noted that robotic surgery improves on laparoscopic surgery by providing increased intra-cavity articulation, increased degrees of freedom, and downscaling of motion amplitude that may reduce the strain on the surgeon. The biggest growth in robotic surgery has been seen in the fields of gynecology and urology. Recently, Wright et al. reported an increase in robotic assisted hysterectomy from 0.5 percent of the procedures in 2007 compared to 9.5 percent in 2010 for benign disease. In their study, robotic assisted surgery had similar outcomes to laparoscopic surgery but higher total cost of $2,189 more per case. In urologic surgery, Leddy et al. reported in 2010 that radical prostatectomy remains the biggest utilization of robotic assisted surgery in urology with 1% in 2001 to 40% of all cases in 2006 performed in the United States. Utilizing a nationwide database from 2008-2011, subjects were propensity matched by 14 patient characteristics to reduce selection bias in a retrospective study. The patients were then divided into three groups by operation types: valves, vessels and other type. Univariate analysis revealed that robotic-assisted surgery, compared to non-robotic surgery, had higher cost ($39,030 vs. $36,340), but lower LOS (5 vs. 6 days) and mortality (1% vs. 1.9%, all p<0.001). For those who had one or more complications, robotic-assisted cardiac surgery had fewer complications (27.2%) to non-robotic cardiac surgery (30.3%, p < .001).