A team of surgeons from the University of Oxford’s Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences reported a great rate success in robot-assisted ophthalmological surgery. During a clinical trial that began in 2016, the team managed to perform microsurgery on the retina using the PRECEYES Surgical System.
Retina Surgery with Robotic Assistant Considered Major Breakthrough
Dr. Robert MacLaren, the study’s leader, declared that the recent success in using robotic during ophthalmological surgeries could pave the way for more theoretical microsurgical techniques.
The clinical trial conducted by MacLaren and his cohort from the Nuffield Department of Neurosciences began in 2016. For the purpose of this novel medical experiment, twelve patients were selected – nine of them required retina membrane removal surgery, while the other three needed treatment for under-retinal hemorrhage.
According to Dr. MacLaren, the type of surgery performed on the nine participants is quite common. However, in microsurgery, nothing is easy, given that the doctor has to operate in a very narrow space while looking through an electron microscope.
The study’s leader explained that in traditional, human-only, surgery, the doctor has to make a small incision to insert a tiny flashlight. After that, the surgeon uses a very fine scalpel to remove the membrane that covers the retina.
As for the robot-assisted variant, the human-operated machine makes a 1 mm incision below the pupil. It will then use the same incision to remove the membrane covering the retina. MacLaren’s team also used PRECEYES to tackle under-retinal hemorrhages.
Of course, all the surgeries were considered successful. Based on MacLaren’s notes, the robot-assisted retina surgery took a little longer to complete compared to the traditional one. He explained that the surgeons were not used to controlling the robot with a joystick and had to proceed with care.
The encouraging results could pave the way to surgeries otherwise considered impossible.
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