Surgery can only maintain its role in a highly competitive environment if results are continuously improved, accompanied by further reduction of the interventional trauma for patients and with justifiable costs. Significant impulse to achieve this goal was expected from minimally invasive surgery and, in particular, robotic surgery; however, a real breakthrough has not yet been achieved. Accordingly, the new strategic approach of cognitive surgery is required to optimize the provision of surgical treatment. A full scale integration of all modules utilized in the operating room (OR) into a comprehensive network and the development of systems with technical cognition are needed to upgrade the current technical environment passively controlled by the surgeon into an active collaborative support system (surgery 4.0). Only then can the true potential of minimally invasive surgery and robotic surgery be exploited.
Keywords: Cognitive surgery; Minimally invasive surgery; Robotic surgery; Surgery 4.0; Technique.