“A surgeon uses a computer to manipulate small tools attached to a robotic arm with robotic surgery. This allows for more precision and accuracy in minimally invasive surgical procedures,” says Dr. Sandeep Nayak, a leading oncologist from India.

Dr. Sandeep Nayak is one of India’s few doctors who has received advanced laparoscopy and robotic cancer surgery training. 

Dr. Nayak is considered among India’s best oncologists. After all, he is an expert in cancer early detection because “prevention is better than cure,” according to him.

Clinicspots, a holistic healthcare platform, ranks Dr.Sandeep Nayak among the ten best oncologists in India.

Dr.Sandeep Says, “In contrast to traditional open surgery, which requires a large incision, minimally invasive surgery uses several small incisions.”

Robotic surgery for lung cancer is when a chest (thoracic) surgeon utilizes this method to terminate cancer from a lung.

When this type of surgery gets used to treat lung cancer, the damage to lung tissue gets reduced.

What is robotic lung surgery?

Lung surgery using robots was first introduced in 2002. It’s known as robotic-assisted thoracic surgery when it gets used to treat lung cancer (RATS). 

In this article, Dr. Sandeep Nayak, an excellent oncologist from India, looks at how robotic surgery for lung cancer works, when it gets used, and the advantages.

A cart with three or four robotic arms and a console that allows the surgeon to manipulate the arms get used in robotic lung surgery.

The surgeon is seated at the console and examines a high-resolution, three-dimensional magnified image.

They then use simple hand movements to manipulate the arm and camera. These movements are translated into tools in the operative field by a computer.

When is lung cancer treated with robotic surgery?

Robotic surgery for lung cancer gets primarily used to treat non-small cell lung cancer in stages 1 and 2. (NSCLC).

The tumor-bearing lung lobe can usually get removed robotically in stage 1 or 2 NSCLC.

A lobectomy is a medical term for this procedure. Wedge resection gets used when only a lobe segment needs to be removed.

If there is still a tumor to be removed after neoadjuvant therapy, robotic surgery can get used.

According to Dr. Sandeep Nayak, India’s leading oncologist, cancer has usually spread beyond the lungs in the later stages of NSCLC. This eliminates the possibility of robotic surgery. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are better treatments for cancer that has progressed.

A pneumonectomy is performed if the entire lung needs to be removed.

Robotic lung surgery is unable to perform this procedure. Instead, the lung must be removed through a large incision.

What sets it apart from other types of lung cancer surgery?

All surgeries were open procedures before the development of minimally invasive surgery.

These surgeries necessitated a large enough incision to accommodate all of the necessary instruments and a clear view of the area to be operated on.

The ribs had to be removed or separated to perform the surgery, or the breastbone (sternum) had to be cut open.

Video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) is a minimally invasive surgery for organs in the chest, including the lungs, developed in the 1990s.

Surgical instruments and a scope with an attached camera are inserted into the chest cavity through small incisions.

A surgeon uses the instruments to perform the procedure while watching video images on a monitor camera.

VATS is effective, but it can be challenging to implement. Because the rigid tools have limited mobility, this is the case.

In addition, to view the surgical field on a two-dimensional monitor, the surgeon must look up and away from the monitor.

The limitations of VATS are overcome in two ways by robotic surgery for lung cancer, which we’ll go over in more detail below.

The robotic arm provides better mobility.

According to Dr. Sandeep Nayak, an expert oncologist from India, the term “robotic” refers to the arm that manipulates the tools during surgery, not the robot itself.

It’s a mechanical arm with a set of small tools on one end. A robotic unit is made up of three or four of these arms.

The surgeon directs the movement of these arms from the console to perform surgery.

The robotic arm can move like a human hand because it is articulated like your wrist.

This means the surgeon can use hand movements similar to those used in open surgery to control the arm. As a result, surgery is more precise and accurate.

The upgraded camera provides a clearer image.

A new camera provides a three-dimensional, high-definition view inside the chest.

It’s akin to the concept of open surgery.

What are the advantages of robotic thoracic surgery?

The small size of the incisions is the main advantage of a minimally invasive procedure.

Incisions for minimally invasive procedures are usually only 1 to 2 cm long, whereas open surgery requires incisions up to 7 inches long.

When compared to open surgery, other advantages of minimally invasive surgery (robotic surgery for lung cancer and VATS) include:

There is minor discomfort:

Less muscle and tissue are cut when making small incisions, resulting in less pain.

Better recovery:

When small incisions heal, they leave more minor scar tissue than bigger incisions

Less blood loss:

During surgery, smaller incisions and minor tissue damage result in less bleeding.

It takes less time for the surgery to be completed:

Fewer complications and faster healing are linked to less time spent in the operating room.

A shorter stay in the hospital after surgery:

Incisions that are minor heal faster than larger ones

Recovery time is cut in half:

Reduced injury to breathing muscles reduces lung function loss, allowing patients to get back on their feet faster.

The following are some of the advantages of robotic surgery for lung cancer over VATS:

Enhanced precision:

The surgeon can use precise movements because the articulated robotic arm has a more excellent range of motion and proper ergonomics than stiff tools.

A better perspective:

The camera provides a three-dimensional magnified view of the chest cavity in high-definition.

Tremors are lessened:

During the procedure, the surgeon’s shakiness is eliminated thanks to the robotic arm.

More complicated surgical procedures can be performed:

Complex surgeries are easier to achieve with increased mobility and a better view.

Robotic surgery for lung cancer has similar long- and short-term outcomes to VATS.

Compared to open surgery, these minimally invasive procedures produce better results and have fewer complications.

When it comes to robotic lung surgery, what can you expect?

You’ll probably have pulmonary function tests before surgery to make sure you’ll be able to handle it.

Lung cancer robotic surgery is done under general anesthesia. A unique breathing tube is inserted into your airway once the anesthesia begins to work.

This tube allows you to inflate and deflate your lungs separately.

You’ll be shifted to the side. After that, the surgeon will make three or four small incisions in your chest wall.

The robotic arm’s camera and articulated tools will get inserted into such incisions.

Your surgeon will look at the three-dimensional image produced by the camera while sitting at a console near you in the operating room and move the robotic arm to perform the procedure.

One incision is used to cut off and remove cancerous lung tissue.

Lymph nodes around the lung are usually drawn to see if cancer has spread beyond the lungs.

The instruments will be retracted, and the incisions closed once the surgeon is satisfied that all cancer has been removed.

A chest tube is usually inserted into one incision to collect fluid and air leaving the chest and aid in re-inflating the lung after surgery.

How long does it take to recover from robotic lung surgery?

“You’ll usually spend 2 to 4 days in the hospital, where you’ll start your recovery,” says Dr. Sandeep Nayak, an outstanding oncologist from India

Physical therapy may be required to assist you in adjusting to breathing with minor lung tissue.

Although lung cancer surgery is a minimally invasive procedure, it is still a major surgery involving a significant organ.

You may experience symptoms such as: 

  • fatigue
  • shortness of breath
  • a sore throat from the breathing tube
  • some pain

To accommodate breathing with minor lung tissue and shorten your recovery time, you can take precautions.

Within the first 6 to 8 weeks after surgery, try to do the following to aid your body’s healing:

  • Get plenty of rest and sleep every night.
  • Exercise regularly as directed by your physical therapist.
  • Stop smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke.
  • Consume a nutritious and well-balanced diet.
  • Take part in pulmonary rehabilitation to learn breathing and relaxation techniques and upper body and arm strengthening exercises.
  • Take all medications exactly as directed.
  • Follow your doctor’s instructions and attend all scheduled follow-up appointments.

Last but not least

Robotic lung surgery is a minimally invasive procedure for removing cancerous lung tissue.

A surgeon uses a computer to manipulate miniature tools attached to a robotic arm to perform precise movements inside the chest cavity during this type of surgery.

A medic may advise robotic-assisted thoracic surgery for stage 1 or 2 NSCLC.

Through small incisions in the chest, the surgeon can withdraw a lobe or a faction of the lung’s lobe. Smaller incisions allow for faster healing, less pain, and faster recovery.



Manisha has always been passionate about writing. She has written her poems, short stories, and articles since her school days. In her professional life, she has worked as a journalist since 2011. Her passion for writing led her to write her debut book, Unhappy Marriage, which gained her many accolades. She currently lives in India.
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