Robot Performs First Surgery Without Human Help

Carried out by researchers at Johns Hopkins University, a robot performed soft-tissue surgery on four pigs.

The uses of robotics in surgery has been hypothesized for many years. The first documented use of a robot-assisted surgical procedure occurred in 1985. For this procedure, the PUMA 560 robotic surgical arm was used in a delicate neurosurgical biopsy. Fast forward to 2022 and a robot from Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, Maryland successfully performed laparoscopic surgery.

The STAR, abbreviation for Smart Tissue Autonomous Robot, was able to perform keyhole surgery on soft tissues. In this procedure, the robot successfully connected two ends of a pig’s intestine. Assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Johns Hopkins University Axel Krieger mentioned  “It produced significantly better results than humans performing the same procedure.”

This surgery involves a methodology of stitching together the end of the small intestine to the first part of the large intestine. This requires an attentive and uniform stitching pattern. The study and the operation have shown that robots can conduct this task more accurately and consistently, without the element of fatigue setting in.

This is a huge advancement in the field of science and technology, and a significant step closer to performing fully automated surgeries on humans. Check out this informative video on the thought-process behind designing the Da Vinci surgical robot.

 

Featured Image via Medica.de

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