We are grateful for the reviewers’ comments on our manuscript (1). A robotic system has been used in thoracic surgery for more than 10 years, and the technique has matured and become common practice in many institutions.
Many studies have demonstrated the feasibility and safety of the robotic system and have shown that it can achieve equivalent short-term surgical efficacy when compared with traditional video-assisted thoracic surgery, but a higher cost is associated with robotic surgery (2-4). The high cost is due to the additional expenses of the disposable robotic instruments and the substantial overall cost to acquire and maintain the robotic system. Some studies have shown that robotic surgery decreases a portion of overall costs as hospital stay length and overall nursing care costs are reduced. Because the robotic technique continues to evolve and expand, manufacturers of robotic surgical systems will continue to develop new generations of robotic systems to reduce costs and remain competitive (4-8).
Currently, comprehensive evaluations of robotic techniques must be performed to achieve maximal benefits for potential patients. Additionally, in some cases, such as when the patient harbors an infection, the robotic system may be the better choice for the surgeon. We should not abandon this promising technique due to the temporary costs associated with it. The future of robotic surgery is bright.
We would like to acknowledge David Tian, Senior Editor of AME Publishing Company, for editing support.
Conflicts of Interest: The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.
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