Date of Graduation

8-2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Industrial Engineering

Advisor

Needy, Kim

Reader

Rainwater, Chase E.

Abstract

Hospitals are continually examining ways in which technology can be used to improve patient care and to stay competitive. For example, robotic surgery has been rapidly adopted at many hospitals throughout the United States to address this need. Some evidence suggests that robotic surgery has better clinical results than open and laparoscopic surgeries, but little data exists to measure the sustainability of robotic surgery technologies. A team of researchers at the Mascaro Center for Sustainable Research at the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Arkansas collected and analyzed data to determine the environmental impacts of four modes of hysterectomy surgeries: abdominal, vaginal, laparoscopic, and robotic. Comparatively, the robotic hysterectomy surgery produced a large amount of waste and had a large environmental footprint. By focusing on the parts of the robotic surgery that lead to the large waste and footprint, suggestions are made on how to improve the individual components of the robotic surgery to make the procedure more environmentally sustainable.

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