The use of remotely-controlled robots to perform delicate surgery is growing. The approach offers benefits to both patients and doctors including less fatigue, quicker recovery times and a reduced risk of infection. Now another breakthrough in the field has been reported in the U.K., where doctors have performed a first in remote-controlled heart surgery.
The procedure took place at Leicester's Glenfield Hospital, where consultant cardiologist and electrophysiologist Andre Ng performed the surgery from outside the theater.
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The operation involved the use of Catheter Robotics' Remote Catheter Manipulation System, a device which allows physicians to maneuver and control catheters via remote control access.
Ng told Reuters that the use of the Catheter Robotics' system via remote control was a world first.
The use of robots as remotely operated surgeons and surgical assistants has several advantages. In this scenario the main plus is that it spared Ng from wearing heavy radiation shields, which are used to protect against long periods of exposure to X-rays. The other obvious advantage of remote-controlled robotics is that the surgeon doesn't need to be in the same building, or potentially even the same country as the patient.