Robotic surgery is the use of robots in performing surgery. Three major advances aided by surgical robots have been remote surgery, minimally invasive surgery and unmanned surgery. Major potential advantages of robotic surgery are precision and miniaturization. Further advantages are articulation beyond normal manipulation and three-dimensional magnification.
In 1985 a robot, the PUMA 560, was used to place a needle for a brain biopsy using CT guidance. In 1988, the PROBOT, developed at Imperial College London, was used to perform prostatic surgery. The ROBODOC from Integrated Surgical Systems was introduced in 1992 to mill out precise fittings in the femur for hip replacement. Further development of robotic systems was carried out by Intuitive Surgical with the introduction of the da Vinci Surgical System and Computer Motion with the AESOP and the ZEUS robotic surgical system.
The da Vinci Surgical System comprises three components: a surgeon console, a patient-side robotic cart with 4 arms manipulated by the surgeon (one to control the camera and three to manipulate instruments), and a high-definition 3D vision system. Articulating surgical instruments are mounted on the robotic arms which are introduced into the body through cannulas. The surgeon hand movements are scaled and filtered to eliminate hand tremor then translated into micro-movements of the proprietary instruments. The camera used in the system provides a true stereoscopic picture transmitted to a surgeon's console. The da Vinci System is FDA cleared for a variety of surgical procedures including surgery for prostate cancer, hysterectomy and mitral valve repair, and is used in more than 800 hospitals in the Americas and Europe. The da Vinci System was used in 48,000 procedures in 2006 and sells for about $1.2 million
Endoscopic coronary artery bypass (TECAB) surgery and mitral valve replacement have been performed. Totally closed chest, endoscopic mitral valve surgeries are being performed now with the robot.
Multiple types of procedures have been performed with either the Zeus or da Vinci robot systems, including bariatric surgery.
Robotic surgery in gynecology is one of the fastest growing fields of robotic surgery. This includes the use of the da Vinci surgical system in benign gynecology and gynecologic oncology. Robotic surgery can be used to treat fibroids, abnormal periods, endometriosis, ovarian tumors, pelvic prolapse, and female cancers. Using the robotic system, gynecologists can perform hysterectomies, myomectomies, and lymph node biopsies. The need for large abdominal incisions is virtually eliminated.
Several systems for stereotactic intervention are currently on the market. MD Robotic's NeuroArm is the world’s first MRI-compatible surgical robot.
The ROBODOC system was released in 1992 by the Integrated Surgical Systems, Inc.
Surgical robotics has been used in many types of pediatric surgical procedures including: tracheoesophageal fistula repair, cholecystectomy, nissen fundoplication, morgagni hernia repair, kasai portoenterostomy, congenital diaphragmatic hernia repair, and others. On January 17, 2002, surgeons at Children's Hospital of Michigan in Detroit performed the nation's first advanced computer-assisted robot-enhanced surgical procedure at a children's hospital.
The CyberKnife Robotic Radiosurgery System uses image-guidance and computer controlled robotics to treat tumors throughout the body by delivering multiple beams of high-energy radiation to the tumor from virtually any direction.
The da Vinci robot is commonly used to remove the prostate gland for cancer, repair obstructed kidneys, repair bladder abnormalities and remove diseased kidneys.
Current equipment is expensive to obtain, maintain and operate. If one of the older model non-autonomous robots is being used, surgeons and staff need special training. Data collection of procedures and their outcomes remains limited.
As scientists seek to improve the versatility and utility of robotics in surgery, some are attempting to miniaturize the robots. For example, the University of Nebraska Medical Center has led a multi-campus effort to provide collaborative research on mini-robotics among surgeons, engineers and computer scientists. Scientists at Hebrew University have also developed a miniature robot to navigate through the bloodstream.
HISTORY OF ROBOTS -- ROBOTS IN SPACE -- ROBOTIC SURGERY -- ROBOTS IN THE MILITARY -- MORE --
Basics -- Robotics
Robotics in Space
Robots in the Home
Robots in the Military