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Robotic Surgeons: The Future of Error-Free Surgery

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Robotic Surgeons: The Future of Error-Free Surgery

April 17, 2000
By Janelle Mallett, Knee1/Body1 Staff

Doctors performing knee replacement surgery may soon have a new tool at their disposal. Recent tests involving robotic surgical assistants indicate that the future of accurate and error-free surgery rests in developing these machines to provide patients the best treatment available.

On March 28th this year Integrated Surgical Systems, Inc. (ISS) in Davis, California announced its completion of the first worldwide Robotic Total Knee Arthroplasty (TKA) with its newly developed Robodoc Surgical Assistant System. The surgery performed in a German Hospital in Frankfurt was so successful that the patient recovered with no complications. Miraculously, the total time of the robotic surgery matched that of conventional knee surgery.

ISS was also first to perform the Robot Assisted Total Hip Arthroplasty (THA). The company develops software packages for other robot surgical applications and specializes in neurological and orthopedic surgical applications of robot technology.

Currently more and more models that require minimal input from surgeons are in developmental stages. Mechanical engineer Dr. Moshe Shoham of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology recently developed a mini-robot that simply requires input of the operation site coordinates. The robot is then able to perform surgery without any other assistance. Surgeons can opt to intervene by controlling the robot with a joystick during the surgery.

What is most intriguing is that this robot has the potential to perform knee replacement surgery as well as other operations involving the spine, brain, ear and nose. Scientists are testing this mini-robot in a variety of applications.

When robotic surgery has been shown to be so accurate and so versatile, the possibilities in improved surgery are endless.

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