Health: thanks to robotic surgery, the Bordeaux University Hospital reduces complications

Robotics really entered clinical practice in 2010. As for artificial intelligence and three-dimensional modeling, it dates back to 2014.

We use AI for image analysis, scanner segmentation and creation of virtual models. In…

Robotics really entered clinical practice in 2010. As for artificial intelligence and three-dimensional modeling, it dates back to 2014.

We use AI for image analysis, scanner segmentation and creation of virtual models. As part of the French kidney cancer research network that I coordinate (UroCCR), we also use AI to do database analysis. Patients cared for for a kidney tumor in the 41 centers of the network take part in this project.

We note the characteristics of the disease, the treatment methods, the techniques used, the type of surgery used, the therapeutic methods… And then we carry out artificial intelligence and “machine learning” projects. We have exceeded 14,000 patients, we have one of the largest databases internationally on kidney cancer. When you have for each of the 14,000 patients 1,000 variables, 40 control points… After a while you need other techniques to analyze all this data and do it without a priori. AI allows this, it will decide without a priori which variables are of interest and which are not.

How do you use this data?

We can assess the risk of cancer recurrence for patients, once they have been operated. Machine learning will make it possible to select from the multiplicity of variables that are entered, those that will have an impact in predicting the risk of recurrence of the disease. The long-term objective is to have an individual risk assessment for each patient and to define follow-up procedures: a reduction in examinations for those for whom the risk is limited, or on the contrary an intensification of follow-up.

Robotics is omnipresent in your operating room, it allows you to perform minimally invasive surgery. What does it change ?

One of the team’s specialties is conservative surgery: removing the tumor and keeping the part of the kidney healthy. We do 100% of our conservative surgeries laparoscopically with robotic assistance. The change is mostly for the patient. It reduces postoperative morbidity, complications and improves their recovery. They also have less pain and overall a faster re-autonomy. This is what allowed us to develop day surgery. We were the first team to develop outpatient surgery protocols for robotic partial nephrectomy internationally.

For the surgeon, it means more precision in the operating gesture, more comfort and ergonomics linked to the quality of the instrumentation. The Bordeaux University Hospital has invested in a “Robotic training center” since 2021 to improve the training capacities of young surgeons in robotic surgery. This concerns all specialties.

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Health: thanks to robotic surgery, the Bordeaux University Hospital reduces complications


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