/Robotic surgery is turning out to be an expensive fad

Robotic surgery is turning out to be an expensive fad

The rapid rise of robot-aided surgery ignores the fact that high-tech gadgets don’t always improve treatment outcomes but do increase costs



Technology



12 June 2019

robotic arms

Machine arms get to work in the operating theatre

Peter Menzel/SPL

SURGERY performed with the help of a robot has been billed as the next revolution in healthcare: such procedures can be carried out through an incision the width of a finger, causing less scarring and often allowing people to return to their homes more quickly.

The UK’s National Health Service recently announced plans to spend £50 million on more robotic surgical equipment for operating theatres, and yet the benefits of this high-tech approach are debated. Earlier this year, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) …

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