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  • How about this! Any comments/suggestions/complaints?!

    Robot arm removes gall bladder

    Shenzhen, , Apr. 27 (UPI) -- A computer-controlled robot arm has been used to removed a woman's gall bladder in an operation performed at a South China hospital.

    The surgery took place Monday at the Shenzhen People's Hospital in South China's Guangdong Province, Xinhua, the Chinese government news agency, reported. The operation was controlled from a distance by a surgeon seated at a computer.

    The hospital purchased the medical robot system known as Zeus last year from the United States at a cost of $1.5 million. Surgeons in Shenzhen first tested the system on animals.

    Dr. Zhou Hanxin, president of the hospital, told Xinhua robots have several advantages over human surgeons. They are not subject to tiny handshakes that occur as people breathe and can reach into areas inaccessible to human arms.

    Zhou said physicians in the United States could even control robots being used in Chinese operating rooms. In 2001, doctors in France and the United States cooperated on a trans-Atlantic robotic operation.

  • #2
    Robots may operate well on inanimate objects, but with human beings with the variations in anatomy, adhesions, no way, I'd rather have a tired senior resident take out my appendix


    • #3
      Robot doesn't actually "do" anything, what it amounts to is a computer program which translates the hand signals of a human surgeon onto control arms with laparoscopic instrumentation. The surgeon is watching the entire procedure laparoscopically, and is actually "doing" the procedure with hand controls not unlike your typical playstation or gamecube. Practical applications? None. Scenarios like remote areas without surgical coverage (but with a million dollar piece of equipment????), or military (hate to admit it, but a surgical captain is cheaper than a million dollar robot).


      • #4
        Phillip, you still need a surgeon in the OR, what happens when the internet connection is lost? 'just curious


        • #5
          Actually this started as a Military project (DARPA the same one that gave us the internet that Al Gore invented). They have been testing this for use in remote combat areas so that the immediate surgery may be done in the field with the aid of these robotic units without endangering humans!
          So far it has been successful up to a point. There is a perceptible time lag between the movement of the surgeon at the controls and the robot arm and it takes a while to get used to this lag. Yes the robot could be more precise and may not have a tremor or shake, but will that translate into to better results for the patients? Less complications? I am not convinced at this time. At thsi point 1.5 mill for a unit is rather expensive and most hospitals can not afford it with the current re-imbursement rates anyways. So it will be in the realm of major "learning" centers and even there in a small number of operating rooms doing some exotic surgical procedure. Interesting is that there is a thread in the General Discussion section about Kurzweil and Robots and nanotechnology etc... I guess I should ask my son the computer engineer specializing in embedded sytems?!


          • #6
            What happens when the screen turns red?


            • #7
              "Suction" "Lap-Pads" oops. Where am I


              • #8
                Zeus works ok as an experiment when the distance is not significant.
                Whenever surgeon is further away from the patient the delay in signal to and from leads to exageration of the hand movement/eye coordination.
                Not sure what the critical delay is but I think it's miliseconds.
                Maybe that's way military pilots have to actually be in the cocpit.
                Also look how difficult it is to move the Mars Explorer.
                And ain't no bleeding there.


                • #9
                  The real benefit of robotic surgery is in off-pump cardiac applications. The camera and the robot arms can be slaved to moved incrementally with the cardiac wall motion. Look through the camera and Voila!, no movement during the surgical procedures. the robotic arms are more complex versions of the design for handling radioactive or bio-hazard materials. The fact is that the requirement for military pilots to be in the aircraft is diminishing rapidly. Luckily, no one is usually shooting at me in the OR, so the impetus to remove me from the surgical theatre only comes from pun-weary scrub techs, not nearly enough to justify a $1m piece of equipment.
                  Last edited by drkadel; 05-25-2004, 12:48 PM. Reason: More to say
                  CUT2CURE. We heal with steel! It can't hurt you if it's in a bottle...and the Rule of the Artery is Supreme