Robotic Jaw Contouring for FFS
Written by: Paul Mittermiller
Publication date: 5/2/2023
Could the future be here? Robots and AI are able to accomplish astounding tasks these days. Is it possible they have now replaced the FFS surgeon?
There have been a few publications recently on the use of a surgical robot for jaw contouring.1, 2 The traditional approach for jaw contouring uses traditional surgical tools that are wielded by the surgeon’s hands. This approaches frequently uses incisions that are made inside the mouth and provide extremely limited access to the jaw. In theory, a robot-assisted approach could dramatically facilitate the process.
The use of robot-assistance during a procedure is most helpful with designing the cut and ensuring the cut matches the preoperative plan. Considering the difficulty of visualizing the mandibular angle, being able to create a bony cut with high fidelity should have value with regard to surgeon confidence and potentially operative time.
One group out of China published on their findings with robot-assisted mandibular contouring surgery in a proof-of concept with 30 patients (15 traditional and 15 robot-assisted).3 They state improved precision in bone shaving and higher safety. On the converse, it has been pointed out that this approach did not decrease operative time, blood loss, or complications rates and that it actually increased operative costs.4
With regard to any robot-assisted operation, there can be a decrease in operating time once the robot is set up and calibrated, but there is an increase in time due to calibrating the machine once the patient has been anesthetized.
Regardless of whether this technique is usable at the moment, there is no doubt that this is the direction in which we are headed.
- Lin L, Xu H, Chai G 6. Assessment of Robot-assisted Mandibular Contouring Surgery in Comparison with Traditional Surgery: A Prospective, Single-center, Randomized Controlled Trial. In: AAPS 2023 Meeting. PRS Global Open https://journals.lww.com/prsgo/Fulltext/2023/04001/6__Assessment_of_Robot_assisted_Mandibular.7.aspx
- Lin L, Zhao Z, Han W, Sun M, Zhang Z, Kim BS, Yan Y, Chen X, Aung ZM, Liu X, Wang X, Li X, Yang X, Wang B, Chai G, Xu H (2023) Advances in Robot-Assisted Surgery for Facial Bone Contouring Surgery. J Craniofac Surg 34 (2):813-816. doi:10.1097/SCS.0000000000009128
- Lin L, Sun M, Xu C, Gao Y, Xu H, Yang X, He H, Wang B, Xie L, Chai G (2022) Assessment of Robot-Assisted Mandibular Contouring Surgery in Comparison With Traditional Surgery: A Prospective, Single-Center, Randomized Controlled Trial. Aesthet Surg J 42 (6):567-579. doi:10.1093/asj/sjab392
- Wu G (2022) Commentary on: Assessment of Robot-Assisted Mandibular Contouring Surgery in Comparison With Traditional Surgery: A Prospective, Single-Center, Randomized Controlled Trial. Aesthet Surg J 42 (6):580-581. doi:10.1093/asj/sjab413