Robotic surgery has changed many types of surgery and the way it is being performed. It has led to smaller incisions, less downtime and quicker recoveries. So is there a role for robotics in facial plastic surgery?
Currently, the answer is no. Robotic surgery is best used in hard to reach areas where access typically requires a larger incision and can now be reached with a smaller incision. In facial plastic surgery, rhinoplasty is performed already with either a small incision or incision-less approach. In facelift surgery, the incisions are concealed around the hairline and are necessary to remove the excess skin. Some facelifts can be performed with an endoscope. Even with forehead bumps (osteomas), Dr. Shah uses an endoscope to remove the lesion rather than use a large incision. More importantly, in aesthetic surgery there is a feel to the procedure which may be lost with a robot.
While robotic surgery has changed abdominal and thoracic surgery, its role appears to be limited in aesthetic surgery of the face, at least currently.