Rise of surgical robotics mirrors that of laparoscopy, says GI director

Technology is always advancing, but sometimes trendlines look familiar.

Prakash Gatta, MD, director of foregut surgery at Overlake Medical Center and Clinics in Bellevue, Wash., joined "Becker's ASC Review Podcast" to talk about robotics and other exciting developments in gastroenterology.

Note: This is an edited excerpt. Listen to the full podcast episode here.

Question: What's the most exciting thing in gastroenterological surgery right now?

Dr. Prakash Gatta: One of the most exciting things that's essentially forcing training programs to change is the fact that the new generation of trainees have all come to expect having access to robotics. That has put a welcome highlight into programs like ours. This is essentially repeating what happened 30 years ago when laparoscopy or minimally invasive surgery first came on and then essentially changed the way care was delivered.

One of the biggest challenges we have today is the rise of esophageal cancer. There's been an astronomical increase. The fact that the incidence is actually rising when all other GI malignancies are actually decreasing represents a failure on many levels in the healthcare system.

One of the greatest things I hope to accomplish in the Pacific Northwest is early diagnosis, prevention and treatment of cancer. That could include reflux surgery, and there's many new treatment mechanisms for reflux surgery that we are offering now, which is part of what's most exciting in GI surgery right now.

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