Lexington Medical Center robot helping surgeons? | Interesting facts about robotic surgery

Robotic surgery looks like something straight out of science fiction, right? But in reality, it has been around for years. And a South Carolina hospital just got a first taste of the technology itself.

Lexington Medical Center now has its own robotic surgery system in the Da Vinci Xi, with the first official procedure using it taking place on September 20, reports The Dispatch.

According to Dr Claudiu Cimpean, a GP who worked there (and the one who used the system in the first robot-assisted surgery there), it offered more flexibility. It allowed access to normally difficult to reach areas of a patient’s body.

(Photo: LOIC VENANCE / AFP via Getty Images)
A surgeon uses the Cirq robotic arm of the Loop-X robotic surgery facility to secure his work on the spine of a patient with metastatic breast cancer, June 10, 2021 at the University Hospital of Angers, west of France. – The Loop-X robotic surgery facility is a first in Europe.

In addition, the implementation of the system also allowed the patient to endure less pain, scarring, blood loss and a faster overall recovery time.

It seems that robotic surgery is proving to be a boon to the medical field. But there is more that a lot of people don’t know about this. As such, here are some interesting facts about this health tech wonder.

Read also: Rare robotic double surgery simultaneously removes uterus and colon from cancer patient

Robotic surgery works like piloting a robot

To use robots in surgical operations, a surgeon will sit in a “battle station”, much like the cockpit of a giant robot. In front of him is a console, a camera control arm which allows them to see a magnified image and control the inputs for mechanical arms to which surgical instruments are attached

Robotic surgery controls

(Photo: THOMAS SAMSON / AFP via Getty Images)
Surgeons use a remote control system as they perform surgery with a da Vinci Xi robotic surgical system at Robert-Debr̩ Hospital in Paris, April 5, 2019. РDespite debates over added value to their cost, surgical robots are on the rise. In 20 years, the pioneer and world leader in the sector, the American group Intuitive Surgical has already installed more than 4,800 robots from its da Vinci range around the world, including 144 in France. Its robots have already been involved in more than 6 million surgeries worldwide, including one million last year alone, a clear sign of the sharp acceleration in demand.

Piloting a robotic surgery system is a little different, however. According to Surgical solutionsit works using a three to one scale. This means that for every three inches that the surgeon’s hand or arm moves, the machine will move one inch.

This allows for a very high level of precision, which is extremely critical when performing a surgical procedure.

Some robots can perform surgery without even cutting

When you say “surgery” it often means that a doctor will need to make an incision on a patient’s skin. But recent advances in robotics make it possible to perform surgery without even cutting someone off.

The actual type of operation that is performed here is microsurgery, which is performed with microscopic robots. Last year, a study published in the journal Nature said that tiny machines can perform microsurgery on the hardest to reach areas of the body by pushing the machines in through the bloodstream.


(Photo: Getty Images)

There is an ophthalmologist robot called R2D2

R2D2 is one of the most iconic robots in pop culture history, thanks to its role in the “Star Wars” franchise. As such, the name was given to a very advanced eye surgeon who made headlines more than four years ago.


(Photo: Tomohiro Ohsumi / Getty Images)
TOKYO, JAPAN – NOVEMBER 28: Star Wars character R2-D2 is seen before the performance “Star Wars Kabuki” which was produced to promote the upcoming release of “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” at Meguro Persimmon Hall on the 28th November 2019 in Tokyo, Japan.

The robot’s real name is Robotic Retinal Dissection Device, with the nickname R2D2 derived from the two R’s and two D’s in its initials. It was designed to be so delicate and precise, and it can work inside a human eye with extreme levels of precision.

The precision of R2D2 is extreme enough that a surgeon can operate even when the eye is moving. This insane level of precision was demonstrated when R2D2 managed to remove a tiny 0.01mm thick membrane from a patient’s retina, who came out with normalized vision and barely a scratch.

Related: A Rembrandt robot could be your next surgeon

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Written by RJ Pierce

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