For years, the world of medical industry specialists has been steadily advancing the art of robot-assisted procedures, medicine enabling doctors to enhance the technique inside the operation theatre.
Now researchers are saying that a robot has successfully performed keyhole surgery on pigs all on its own – without the guiding hand of a human. Furthermore, they added that robot surgeons produced better results rather than human surgeons.
The Smart Tissue Autonomous Robot (STAR) carried out laparoscopic surgery to connect the ends of four pigs. According to a paper published in Science Robotics, the robot enhanced the procedure, which requires a high-level technique of precision and repetitive movements of the robot surgeons.
Connecting two ends of an intestine of a pig is a challenging procedure in gastrointestinal surgery, requiring a surgeon to apply stitches with a high level of accuracy and consistency of the surgery. Even a small hand tremor or uneven stitch may result in a leak that would result in a patient suffering fatal complications etc.
Science Experts are saying that new features allow for improved surgical precision, including specialised suturing tools and imaging systems which may provide more accurate visualisations of the surgical field and the accuracy rate would be increased as well. It is hard for robot surgeons to perform soft-tissue surgery without human (Science Experts) effort because we can’t tell the robots how unpredictable it can be. Now, the experts are forcing the robots to be able to adapt quickly to handle unexpected obstacles which might happen at the time of surgery.
Robotic anastomosis - surgically joining two structures- is one way to ensure that surgical tasks that require high-level accuracy of precision and repeatability can be performed with more accuracy and precision in every patient independent of robot surgeon skills. We hypothesise that this will result in a democratised surgical approach towards patient care with more predictable and consistent patient outcomes that would result in a better way.
In order to perform surgery by a surgeon to repair an intestine, it requires a very high level of focus from surgeons, as they will need to make small, repetitive motions for an extended period while suturing the intestine back together for better results and reach as well. It’s the perfect challenge for a robot surgeon, like a robot, they can’t fall victim to a sudden hand cramp or tremor and both of which could cause a very slight leak in the intestines, potentially leading to life-threatening surgical complications for a patient which might cause danger to their lives too.
The work isn’t complete — the research clearly explained that the success of these surgeries have already given researchers ideas for what tweaks they can make to the robot’s design and how can they enhance their work in all aspects, including better imaging to reduce the suturing time and a proximity sensor at the tip of the surgical tools in order to track tissue contact and tension better as well.
In the operation theatre, a robot surgeon performing the surgery itself shows multiple white arms that end in surgical tools hovering over the pig. The pigs were monitored for a week after the surgery was performed in order to compare the intestine with surgical models to ensure that the pig is healthy or needed any kind of improvement in medical and surgery level.
Robotics are an important part of our life that always encourage and surprise us with new ideas, innovations in the medical industry. Exactly how these technologies have been executed needs to be better well understood because they will have an emerging impact on society and for the forthcoming future for a better life and health as well.
This would become a revolution in human life, and become the most influential human innovation among the future technologies of the medical industry.
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