Surgery on a Grape: Behind the Drapes

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By now, everyone has seen the videos of the da Vinci robotic surgery system being used to skin a grape, and the memes that have gone along with it. Here is what was left on the cutting room floor, behind the drapes:

– Wheeling in the da Vinci robot and all its accoutrements

– Yelling at the first assistant for docking the arms of Vishnu wrong

– The surgeon calling for more Trendelenburg

– Bringing in the right da Vinci tools, when surgery figures out they opened the wrong set

– The surgeon calling for more Trendelenburg

– The instruments running into each other repeatedly, aka “crossing swords”

– The surgeon calling for infinite Trendelenburg

Robotic surgery was developed by DARPA in the 1990s, but when it failed to solve the problems with deploying trauma surgeons, it was given to the private sector, where it continues to be a solution looking for a problem.

“It’s like watching the most boring, yet terrifying video game ever produced. Every move by the robot arms looks like nothing is happening, simultaneously with the potential for disaster,” says anesthesiologist Robert Williams.

“The da Vinci system has only succeeded in transferring pain from the patient to the surgeon.”

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  • Hey Anesthesia!

    Hey, Anesthesia! was born on the crest of a wave, and rocked in the cradle of the deep. He was a good student until entering medical school, where he realized that what he was learning didn't matter, and quickly shifted his priorities to cars and girls. He wanted to be a surgeon until he saw that he didn't have the ego or biceps for it, and switched his focus to passing gas in the OR. In his spare time, he enjoys golf and taunting surgeons about his spare time

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