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More Surgeries Performed by Robots

Doctors in the U.S. are increasingly using a new hi-tech tool in the surgery room -- robots. VOA's Cathryn Curtis reports on doctors in Los Angeles who will start using a surgical robot next month.

This may not be a human body, but the arms of this surgical robot, operated here by a reporter, will soon be performing delicate operations on real people.

Dr. Richard Friedman, of the St. Joseph's Medical Center in Burbank, California, will start using the robot in prostate surgeries in April.

"It's almost like having your hands inside the patient without cutting that patient open."

Like other doctors, he has received countless hours of training on the $1.53 million machine.

Doctors can see inside the patients in 3-D, and surgery with robots results in less blood loss for the patient.

There's another benefit for the patients, says Dr. Raymond Shaerf. "In our experience, patients do better, are out of the hospital sooner, and the recovery is faster."

Doctors at this hospital will use the robot for thoracic (chest) and prostate surgeries.