Robot Performs a Laparoscopic Surgery By Itself

John Hopkins University has reported that a robot conducted laparoscopic surgery without the guidance of a doctor successfully. This surgery is to insert a camera into a woman’s reproductive system or the abdomen for evaluation. The procedure usually requires minimal invasion.

It is becoming more common to let robots consist simple surgery on patients. The robot, in this case, conducted the surgery on a pig. The procedure’s success indicates that the medical field is closer to performing autonomous surgeries using robots.

The robot performed the surgery more accurately than the humans

The team from John Hopkins University named the robot Smart Tissue Autonomous Robot (STAR). The robot managed to connect two ends of an intestine. Moreover, it conducted the surgery more accurately than human surgeons, who typically deviated from the cut line leading to more tissue damage.

According to John Hopkins’ mechanical engineer, Dr. Axel Krieger, their success shows that medical practitioners can now automate one of the most delicate surgeries. In addition, when STAR did the surgery on four animals and was better than surgeons.

Many surgeries believe laparoscopic surgery to be one of the most complicated as it requires high consistency and accuracy. The reason is that a poorly placed stitch or hand tremors could cause a leak and other complications.

STAR is a modified version of a 2016 model

The team made STAR from a similar 2016 model. However, the older model could only make bigger incisions and needed more human assistance. STAR included new features that improve its decisions and I dependence, such as the infrared camera. Other features are nurturing tools and scanners that help it visualize the field better.

Furthermore, soft tissue surgeries could be complex for a robot to perform as they can be very unpredictable. For this reason, STAR needed to adapt quickly so it could deal with sudden obstacles.

STAR is the only surgical robot capable of planning, adapting, and executing a plan for soft tissue surgeries without requiring human assistance. The team believes that since more surgeons are now conducting keyhole procedures, they would need help from robots like STAR capable of performing them. Moreover, robots could help achieve better and more consistent patient outcomes.

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