Da Vinci surgical robots, which sell for nearly $1.4 million and weigh half a ton are seeing sales growth of 60% per year
Intuitive said the 78 units sold in the fourth quarter of 2007 lifted the worldwide installed base to 795. Beyond prostate surgeries, the robots are now being employed for hysterectomies, fibroid removal and other gynecological procedures, while making inroads into numerous other areas like heart valve replacement and kidney surgery. Intuitive robots were used in 85,000 procedures last year and the company expected a 55 percent increase in 2008.
Intuitive Surgical’s da Vinci® Surgical System combines superior 3D visualization along with greatly enhanced dexterity, precision and control in an intuitive, ergonomic interface with breakthrough surgical capabilities.
The da Vinci Surgical System is improving patient experiences and outcomes by fundamentally changing surgery in three ways:
Simplifies many existing MIS (minimally invasive surgery) procedures
Many surgical procedures performed today using standard laparoscopic technique may be performed more quickly and easily using the da Vinci Surgical System. This is because the da Vinci System delivers increased clinical capability while maintaining the same "look and feel" of open surgery.
Makes difficult MIS operations routine
Traditional laparoscopy has never become widely applied outside a limited set of routine procedures. Only a select group of highly skilled surgeons routinely attempt complex procedures using a minimally invasive approach . The da Vinci Surgical System finally allows more surgeons to perform complex procedures using a minimally invasive approach – routinely and with confidence.
Makes new MIS procedures possible
A number of procedures that could not be performed using traditional MIS technologies can now be performed using the da Vinci Surgical System. The advanced feature set and extensive EndoWrist® instrumentation of the da Vinci System enable surgeons to perform more procedures through 1-2 cm incisions.
Patients may experience the following benefits:
-Reduced trauma to the body
-Reduced blood loss and need for transfusions
-Less post-operative pain and discomfort
-Less risk of infection
-Shorter hospital stay
-Faster recovery and return to normal daily activities
-Less scarring and improved cosmesis
They also have a 3D high definition system
Da Vinci has many systems for robotically assisted minimally invasive surgery
Robots are being used to test potentially hazardous chemicals on cells grown in a laboratory instead of animals Robots will allow over 10,000 screens on cells and molecules in a single day compared with 10 to 100 studies a year on rodent models.