Surgical use of robotics, or computer-assisted surgical systems (CAS), has evolved over the last 10 years; for the treatment of chest diseases, however, the development has really occurred in the last 3 to 4 years. This brief history means that there have been few publications in the medical literature, and those that exist are mostly case reports. Moreover, because of this modest experience, robotic thoracic procedures currently take more time than nonrobotic cases and, thus, are more expensive. The surgical learning curve appears to be steep, especially for the more complex procedures. As surgeons gain greater experience and the complexity and cost of the equipment are reduced, we should expect to see greater utility of CAS in thoracic surgery.
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