A laparoscopic robotic surgery machine
The process of minimally invasive surgery has been augmented by specialized tools for decades. For example, TransEnterix of Durham, North Carolina received U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval in October 2009 for its SPIDER Surgical System using flexible instruments and one incision in the navel area instead of several, allowing quicker healing for patients. Dr. Richard Stac of Duke University developed the process.
In recent years, electronic tools have been developed to aid surgeons. Some of the features include:
- Visual magnification — use of a large viewing screen improves visibility
- Stabilization — Electromechanical damping of vibrations, due to machinery or shaky human hands
- Simulators — use of specialized virtual reality training tools to improve physicians' proficiency in surgery
- Reduced number of incisions
Robotic surgery has been touted as a solution to underdeveloped nations, whereby a single central hospital can operate several remote machines at distant locations. The potential for robotic surgery has had strong military interest as well, with the intention of providing mobile medical care while keeping trained doctors safe from battle.
Non-robotic hand-guided assistance systems
There are also user-friendly non robotic assistance systems that are single hand-guided devices with a high potential to save time and money. These assistance devices are not bound by the restrictions of common medical robotic systems. The systems enhance the manual possibilities of the surgeon and his team, regarding the need of replacing static holding force during the intervention.
Some of the features are:
- The stabilization of the camera picture because the whole static workload is conveyed by the assistance system.
- Some systems enable a fast repositioning and very short time for fixation of less than 0.02 seconds at the desired position. Some systems are lightweight constructions (18 kg) and can withstand a force of 20 N in any position and direction.
- The benefit — a physically relaxed intervention team can work concentrated on the main goals during the intervention.
- The potentials of these systems enhance the possibilities of the mobile medical care with those lightweight assistance systems. These assistance systems meet the demands of true solo surgery assistance systems and are robust, versatile, and easy to use.