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Sutter First in Nation to Use Next-Generation ROBODOC® for Hip Replacement SACRAMENTO, Calif., May 28 /PRNewswire/
Eighteen years ago, orthopedic surgeon William Bargar, M.D. made history when, at Sutter General Hospital in Sacramento, he performed the first-ever hip replacement using a robotic device he developed called ROBODOC®, which improves precision in joint replacement surgery. Warren Roberts of Davis was among Dr. Bargar's first patients; in 1995, he underwent replacement of his left hip as a part of an FDA study using ROBODOC®.
On May 26, 2010, Dr. Bargar made history again as he performed joint replacement surgery on Roberts' right hip at Sutter General Hospital with the new-generation ROBODOC® Surgical System, recently approved by the FDA for total hip arthroplasty procedures. The new ROBODOC® Surgical System, which provides a higher level of precision and accuracy than is possible with the conventional technique, is the only "active" robotic system cleared by the FDA for orthopedic surgery.
After the original surgery 15 years ago, Roberts' left hip is still working well, demonstrating the longevity of the surgical procedure and implant. "It was like being born again," said Roberts, 68, the former superintendent of the UC Davis Arboretum, of the first ROBODOC® surgery. "The years of pain fell away."
Dr. Tucker Kueny demonstrates how the da Vinci surgical robot would be set up before surgery
Robots in the OR May 28, 2010
Two days after undergoing a hysterectomy at Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton, Sharon Feeney, 50, of Greenfield, was back at home settling into her normal routine.
Feeney's operation, performed by Dr. Tucker Kueny, to relieve years of pain from an ovarian cyst, was done robotically, a minimally invasive surgery that is now available in over 860 hospitals worldwide.
Though she'd had major surgery, Feeney was able to shower and perform her daily tasks, including her routine exercise.
"In a matter of two days I was walking again. I mean really walking, like miles," said Feeney....read more
Robotic Surgery in Russia
First Liver Surgery Performed by a Robot in Russia May 28, 2010 Article from russia-IC.com
For the first time in Russia surgeons form Moscow performed a unique operation – a robotic surgeon removed a liver tumor.
A surgical robot is a real technological breakthrough for Russian medics. Its thin manipulators take a 360 degree bend, which makes surgery much more accurate. A patient won’t have ugly scars, but barely visible traces of belly wall punctures.
After the operation, the patient recovered much faster than usual, waiving drugs on the third day.
The robotic surgeon can also perform complicated operations on stomach and pancreatic grand.
Medics hope to put a robot into everyday practice as soon as possible.
Northwestern Memorial performs robotic assisted vasectomy reversal using da Vinci surgical robot May 28, 2010
This past April, Northwestern Memorial became the first center in the Midwest to perform a pioneering robotic assisted vasectomy reversal using the da Vinci surgical robot. Experts believe this approach is superior to traditional surgery in that it may yield more successful outcomes and reduce couples' wait times for conceiving naturally.
"Many people think getting a vasectomy reversed is just like turning on a faucet that was off," said William Lin, MD, a Northwestern urological surgeon specializing in microsurgery. "But it's not that simple. Reversal is a very delicate procedure that requires ultra precision for it to be successful."
Lin explains this high degree of precision is ideally achieved by using the robot, and it's the primary reason for evaluation of robotic applications for vasectomy reversal. Although the method doesn't cut procedural or recovery times, surgical researchers like Lin are interested in its potential to offer men an earlier return and higher concentration of sperm, which according to him "theoretically increases the likelihood of natural pregnancy....continue reading
Simulated Surgical Systems, LLC Partners to Bring Simulation Advances to Surgical Training WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y., May 27, 2010 /PRNewswire/
Surgical robotic training will be taken to the next level with the partnership of Simulated Surgical Systems, LLC (SSS) and five world renowned academic centers.
Independent studies will be conducted at these centers to finalize much needed curriculum to help train future surgeons in robotic surgery. SSS will provide technical support to all five centers for studies to be completed by December 2010.
Simulated Surgical Systems developed out of collaboration between the Roswell Park Cancer Institute and University at Buffalo. SSS recently developed the Robotic Surgical Simulator, or RoSS™ — a state-of-the-art training tool that allows surgeons to practice the fundamentals of robotic surgery in a virtual environment....continue reading
Patient Sues Wentworth-Douglas over Robotic Surgery May 27, 2010
A patient has filed suit against Wentworth-Douglas Hospital, claiming that surgeons’ inexpert use of a robotic surgery device caused severe injuries.
Sherry Long, a 47 year old Rochester woman, alleges that two surgeons who performed her hysterectomy unknowingly severed both of her ureters, the tubes that move urine from the kidneys to the bladder.
The suit claims that the hospital “engaged in misrepresentations that the hospital and its surgeons” were trained and competent in the use of a Da Vinci robotic surgery device.
Long’s attorney David Anguerra claims the doctors were ill prepared.....read more
Singapore Embraces Super-robots in Cardiac Surgery May 27, 2010
Singapore's primary teaching hospital and referral centre invests millions to bring in the latest generation of robotic technology.
Singapore's National University Heart Centre successfully performed its first robotic cardiac surgery recently, laying the groundwork for a new era in the field of heart surgery.
"We are aligning ourselves with the world's leading heart centers in providing cutting- edge technology in surgery," says Associate Professor Theo Kofidis, Director of the Robotic Cardiac Surgery Program at the National University Hospital (NUH). The centre recently invested several millions to bring in advanced robots such as the DaVinci SI.
"With the new equipment, we look forward to becoming a structured training centre for surgeons in the region," adds A/P Kofidis.
Cardiac surgeries are often complicated and extremely delicate, which explains why robotics took a while to become fully integrated into the surgical planning and execution process....read more
Surgeon Jean Joseph, M.D., at the upper right
University of Rochester Surgeon Demonstrates Robotic Prostate Procedure Posted May 26, 2010
Horseheads Man’s Surgery to be Viewed by Urologists at Major Conference in San Francisco
One of the nation’s top robotic surgeons will remove the cancerous prostate of a Horseheads man during a live demonstration of robotic surgery on Saturday, May 29.
University of Rochester Medical Center surgeon Jean Joseph, M.D., will showcase the high-tech procedure, because of his expertise, during the American Urological Association conference in San Francisco.
Joseph will demonstrate via satellite one of the most advanced surgical procedures to treat prostate cancer, a robotic radical prostatectomy....read more
Shape-shifting 'tube robot' could aid heart surgery May 26, 2010
The instruments currently used in keyhole surgery are either stiff and needle-like, so they can only be manoeuvred in straight lines, or flexible and unable to transmit any force to the tissue. "Catheters are great, but they are like floppy noodles," says Pierre Dupont, a biomedical engineer at Boston University. "They follow curvature and contours, but you have limited control at the tip - you can't pull and push on tissue."
Now Dupont and his team have come up with a way to combine the steerability of a flexible catheter with the stiffness of a needle. Called a concentric tube robot, the technology relies on a series of telescoping curved tubes. As each tube extends and twists from the preceding one, the robot is able to form a multitude of serpentine shapes, allowing it to easily navigate inside an artery while also being stiff enough to transmit force from the surgeon's hand to the area of interest.
The robot could greatly extend the range of procedures that can be carried out via minimally invasive surgery, Dupont told the International Conference on Robotics and Automation in Anchorage, Alaska, this month. For example, it could be used to perform some cardiac operations that currently require open heart surgery, with the robot reaching the heart via the veins in the neck....Read more
Qatar Robotic Surgery Centre (QRSC) has marked the start of its technology development activities with the acceptance of its first scientific paper by a peer-reviewed international symposium. The paper, titled ‘Robotic-Assisted Surgery in the Gulf Co-operation Council Countries’ will be published in the proceedings of ‘The Hamlyn Symposium on Medical Robotics.’
QRSC lead researcher Dr Julien Abi Nahed presented the paper during the Hamlyn Symposium, held yesterday at the Royal Society in London, UK. The event was attended by leading clinical practitioners, scientists and engineers. It focuses on clinical practice of robotic surgery, its economic and patient care considerations and emerging technologies in medical robotics.
The paper examines key factors underlying the relatively low level of Robotic-Assisted Surgery (RAS) activity in the GCC countries. The study found that GCC countries have region-specific elements, which need to be accounted for when analysing RAS in the region. For instance, unavailability of RAS training, population asymmetry, and competitiveness over clinical workforce are key elements that have hampered the success of RAS programmes in the past.
The findings of the paper confirm the validity of the approach that Qatar has taken so far. Hamad Medical Corporation is building a successful clinical RAS programme which is complemented with joint training activities and by technology development at QRSC.
Dr. Ash Tewari on Robotic Surgery May 25, 2010 DOTmed News
Dr. Ash Tewari is the director of the Institute of Robotic Surgery and Prostate Cancer and the director of the Lefrak Institute of Robotic Surgery with the New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, NY.
Dr. Tewari sat down with DOTmed News to discuss robotic surgery. As an experienced robotic surgeon, he describes the various procedures that can be done using the robotic method, addresses some challenges of the technique and talks about patient reactions to the robotic method. Video
Read Some Information On Robotic Radical Prostatectomy May 24, 2010
A surgical procedure performed for prostate removal is called a prostatectomy, it can be either total or a partial removal of the prostate. Prostate removal is one possible treatment option for those with prostate enlargement or prostate cancer.
The prostate is a gland only found in men which is located under the bladder and in front of the rectum. It surrounds the neck of the bladder as well as the urethra which is the tube that is responsible for draining the bladder. For a healthy man the prostate is about the size of a walnut.
There are 3 glands necessary for reproduction and one of those is the prostate which is answerable for producing a sticky, milky fluid of acids and enzymes. This liquid then makes up about 15 percent of the final volume of semen and it helps to sustain the level of sperm cells in the testicles. There's muscle surrounding the prostate which contract when having to ejaculate the liquid. When the entire prostate gland has to be removed it is known as a robotic radical prostatectomy and it can be performed in several ways.
The first option is a robotic perineal prostatectomy which takes away the prostate though an incision in the scrotum and anus. There may also be another incision in the abdomen to remove the nearby lymph nodes.
The second method is a robotic suprapubic prostatectomy in which an incision in the stomach just under the belly button is used to take away the prostate and occasionally the close by lymph nodes. This strategy is sometimes used in the cases of spreading prostate problems since it permits the surgeon to get rid of more tissue.
The final method is a laparoscopic prostatectomy which uses a thin tube-like instrument to remove the prostate inserted through a small incision in the belly button....other options
InTouch Health founder and CEO Yulun Wang and the company’s signature robot
InTouch Health Giving Surgeons a Remote Presence Posted: May 23, 2010
Robotics technology gives doctors the upper hand, especially with stroke treatment in which time is critical.
In September 2001, two surgeons in New York City removed the gall bladder of a female patient. As surgeries go, it was mostly routine — except that the woman was in France at the time!
It was the world’s first transatlantic surgery, and the man who helped pioneer the technology that made it possible is Yulun Wang, founder and CEO of InTouch Health of Goleta.
Wang originally started a company called Computer Motion in 1989; Computer Motion was responsible for the mind-blowing robotics involved in the 2001 surgical procedure. After Computer Motion went public and merged with Intuitive Surgical in 2002, Wang immediately founded InTouch Health, and began working on another revolutionary technology known as Remote Presence.
Remote Presence is the future of patient care, according to Wang. It removes the time and distance barriers that have traditionally limited hospital patients from receiving the proper care, by combining three core technologies: robotics, Internet and wireless.....read more
Da Vinci patient suit expected against WDH: Woman claims permanent damage when both ureters severed during surgery May 22, 2010
DOVER — A lawsuit against Wentworth-Douglass Hospital and two surgeons is expected to be filed by a Rochester woman whose lawyers says she suffered permanent damage when both of her ureters were severed during a da Vinci robotic surgery.
Attorneys for Sherry Long, age 47 when she underwent a hysterectomy on March 2, 2009, maintains Drs. Rebecca Banaski and Elizabeth Chase performed the surgery with the da Vinci robot. The suit cites that, "At that time, neither physician was qualified or competent enough to use" the device.
The suit was mailed to Strafford County Superior Court on Thursday from Boston, according to attorney Peter Mathieu, a partner with The Coolidge Law Firm in Somersworth, and was expected to be delivered to the courthouse Saturday. Mathieu is working with attorney David P. Angueira, of Swartz & Swartz of Boston.
According to the suit, Banaski performed the surgery "while under the alleged supervision of" Chase, even though Long "was never informed" that Banaski "had insufficient training, education and experience to perform the operation herself and was going to be assisted and supervised" by Chase.
"While both Defendants performed the surgery, neither physician properly identified and isolated the Plaintiff's ureters (they carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder) as required by the standard of care, and severed both ureters. This would have required two separate acts which were grossly negligent resulting in the cutting of Plaintiff's ureters," according to the suit....read more
Connecticut device makers tout approvals for surgical implements May 21, 2010
SurgiQuest Inc. and Vascular Insights LLP may commence sale of two new surgical devices.
A pair of Connecticut medical device firms won regulatory nods in the U.S. and Europe. SurgiQuest Inc. won 510(k) clearance from the Food & Drug Administration for its new line of 5mm AnchorPort laparoscopy trocars and Vascular Insights LLP landed CE Mark approval in Europe for its ClariVein Occlusion Catheter.
SurgiQuest touts its device's ability to adjust for differences in each patient, calling it "the world's first elastomeric single incision laparoscopy kit,".
The Orange, Conn.-based surgical device-maker said the kit has an "integrated elastomeric, stretchable cannula system that goes in elongated and self adjusts to accommodate the patient's abdominal wall thickness," which, according the company, reduces the chances of the device coming loose during surgery.....read more
Mimic Software Engineer Mert Sedef tests software on one of the company's robotic surgery simulators.
It’s not often that journalists stumble upon a story by looking out the window. But there we were, five of us from the Puget Sound Business Journal newsroom, trying to figure out what we were seeing just west across First Avenue in downtown Seattle.
There in a fourth-floor window, one window in from the south edge of the building, someone seemed to be playing a video game while looking toward us through what seemed to be a large transparent flat screen. We could see hands moving gracefully, fingers tipped in white, through the computer screen. What was the person doing?
Turns out that software engineer Mert Sedef was testing software on a dv-Trainer, made by Seattle-based Mimic Technologies.
The $98,000 trainer was devised to train surgeons to use robotic surgical devices, without taking time on a real and far more expensive robotic-assisted surgery machine, to reduce any possibility of making a mistake on a living being. It also helps set surgeons at ease about the new technology.
“When surgeons are comfortable, they’re more likely to become robotic surgeons,” Sedef said.
With a real robotic surgery machine users manipulate tiny fingertip controllers that send signals controlling surgery tools, and receive tactile feedback about exactly what those tools are encountering. The Mimic device accurately replicates the experience, much as a flight simulator creates an analog of flying an aircraft, for training pilots.
So far the company has just 25 beta test versions of its devices out in the field around the world, said Marketing Assistant Andrea Berkley.
Imagine having surgery and leaving the hospital with no scar and getting back to work the very next day. It's the future of medicine and the path to getting there starts right here in western Massachusetts. A team of surgeons at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield is part of a study poised to revolutionize the field of surgery.
There is a new technique being tested called NOTES – natural orifice translumenal endoscopic surgery. NOTES uses a scope similar to the ones used for colonoscopies and endoscopies equipped with a tiny camera and surgical tools. It requires only a few tiny cuts or no incision at all. Surgeons feed the scope through the mouth, rectum or vagina.
So far, surgeons are focusing primarily on gall bladder removals but say the possibilities are huge. Dr. John Romanelli, Chief of Robotic and Bariatric Surgery at Baystate says, "If this develops the way it has the potential to, you are looking at scarless surgery with minimal post-op discomfort."
To date, less than 1000 surgical procedures have been done using NOTES worldwide. The national study underway at a handful of hospitals...continue reading
Engineer to create 3D puzzle to mend broken bones Posted: May 20, 2010
An engineer at the University of the West of England is working with an orthopaedic surgeon from the Bristol Royal Infirmary and a specialized software company to enhance the management of complex, joints' fractures by creating a robotics device that can put the fractures back together as perfectly as possible, using the state of the art of 3D imaging, pattern recognition and robotics.
Dr Sanja Dogramadzi, an engineer from Bristol Robotics Laboratory at the University of the West of England, will use CT scans of healthy and fractured joints to work out the mathematical algorithm for the exact displacement and rotation needed for each fragment to be put back together in exactly the right place. The 3D puzzle solution will be a starting point for creating a minimally invasive surgical robotic system. The work will be carried out in consultation with Professor Roger Atkins (Orthopaedic Surgeon at Bristol Royal Infirmary) using the 3D imaging software by Simpleware. (http://www.simpleware.com/)
A further phase of the work will create a robotic device which will test the 3D puzzle by putting all the broken pieces back together on a 3D model, created with specialized print technology from UWE's Centre for Fine Print Research. Ultimately it is hoped the research will lead to a robotic device which will be able to perform the minimally invasive surgery using the information from the CT scans, under the expert control of a surgeon....continue reading
This is ARES, the self-assembling robot you may someday have to swallow.
Ingestible Surgical Robots—Hard To Swallow Concept? May 20, 2010
Medical robots are advancing at phenomenal speed, and within years micro-sized robots could be assisting surgeons with operations from inside their patients.
Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna’s CRIM Lab in Italy has developed a robot called ARES (Assembling Reconfigurable Endoluminal Surgical System) that will be assembled inside the human body.
This modular design is leading the way for a new breed of device that may one day take the place of our most trusted surgeons’ hands. ARES may only be a concept at present, but the project represents amazing new possibilities in the field of robotic surgery.
The ARES robot (Video) was designed to self-assemble inside the body after patients swallow up to 15 parts. Using a modular approach, each of these parts would have its own role to play—image control, communications, structural functions and diagnostics, among others—while forming whatever the structure needed to carry out a particular operation.
Weighing in at 5.6g, each module is 15.4 mm in diameter and 36.5 mm in length, and each represents a single pill to be ingested by the patient.
Computer simulation would be essential to determine setup for each operation; medical data including scanned images would allow doctors to test procedures before selecting the appropriate modules. For complete story Click here
Robot-Assisted Procedures Shed a New Light on Reproductive Science Posted: May 19, 2010
With the growing reliance on technology and the increased use of robots during surgical procedures, it isn’t too far-fetched to hear about the latest progression of robot use in fertility procedures. In fact, University of Florida (UF) urologists began an experiment targeting the effectiveness of robot-assisted vasectomy reversal procedure. The outcome of this experiment is not yet calculated, but preliminary results seem promising....read more
White Plains Hospital Center to Offer Minimally Invasive Procedure to Remove Rectal Cancers May 19, 2010
In what is the first of its kind minimally invasive procedure to be offered between Westchester and Albany, White Plains Hospital Center has joined a relatively small group of about 100 hospitals in the U.S. to provide Transanal Endoscopic Microsurgery (TEM) to remove rectal polyps and early stage rectal cancers.
Developed by Richard Wolf Medical Instruments Corporation, the state-of-the-art TEM Instrument System—combined with the expertise of a skilled colon and rectal surgeon— will make it possible to remove lesions located high inside the rectum that would otherwise by accessible only by radical abdominal surgery.
TEM, which was pioneered by a German surgeon in 1983, has revolutionized rectal lesion surgery. The TEM Instrument System allows access up to 20 centimeters high (about eight inches) within the rectum and provides controlled distention and excellent visibility for an optimal surgical environment. The unique stereoscope gives a magnified 3-D image for clear differentiation of tissue layers to ensure precise excision and suturing.
“This remarkable system also provides specially angled hand instruments that enable the surgeon to preserve healthy tissue while removing cancers that were once beyond treatment by conventional means,” Dr. Yee stated....read more
SCH Pushes Edge in Robotic Surgery, Low-Dose X-ray May 18, 2010
Hospitals across the country are looking to the lead of Swedish Covenant Hospital (SCH), which recently began using new radiology and surgical equipment that greatly improves patient care. The hospital launched its robotic surgery program in January. In February, it became the first hospital in the country to begin using an X-ray system that provides sharper image quality while using a low dose of radiation.
“Our radiology department serves as a national model for the implementation of this technology,” says Bradley Carlton, SCH director of radiology. SCH has hosted site visits by other hospitals that are considering whether to purchase the FDR AcSelerate system, which is made by Fuji.
“The da Vinci surgical robot and Fuji FDR AcSelerate digital X-ray technology are both great examples of investments in technology that not only improve the quality of care we offer our patients, but also play important roles in the hospital’s growth....read more
Heart Valve Surgery: The Options: Posted May 16, 2010
WebMD turned to two cardiac specialists, Joseph DeRose, MD, chief of adult cardiac surgery at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and director of minimally invasive and robotic cardiac surgery at Montefiore -Einstein Heart Center in New York and Raj Makkar, MD, director of interventional cardiology and the cardiac catheterization laboratory, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles for more information on heart valve surgery. Neither has treated Walters, and they emphasize they are speaking in general about heart valve replacement surgery.
Heart valve replacement surgery can be done in the conventional way, in which the physician makes an incision, divides the breastbone to get to the heart, and puts the patient on a bypass machine while the heart is stopped and the valve replaced, DeRose tells WebMD.
''In general, most isolated valve operations [involving one valve and no other procedure] lasts four to six hours," DeRose says. Makkar says it could be less, perhaps two to four hours.
''The operation can also be done minimally invasive,'' DeRose says. This approach does not include dividing the breastbone, but making tiny incisions and inserting a telescope-like device between the ribs to insert the new valve.
''Both [approaches] require stopping the heart," DeRose says.
Another minimally invasive approach, still under investigation, involves inserting a stent with a valve inside, eliminating the need to stop the heart, says Makkar, who is studying this approach. The stent, once in place, pushes aside the native valve and the new valve starts to function.
The replacement valves can be mechanical (also called synthetic), or tissue, obtained from pigs or cows. With tissue valves, Makkar says, the patient does not need to be on blood thinners long-term.
"But if you put in a completely artificial, or mechanical, valve, you have to be on Coumadin for a lifetime," Makkar says.
The plus of mechanical valves, however, is that they last a lifetime, while tissue valves generally have a life expectancy of up to about 15 years, Makkar tells WebMD....read more
Men must decide whether prostate cancer testing is right for them May 16, 2010
What’s a man to do? Causing all the ruckus is the PSA test, which looks for the amount of prostate-specific antigen in the blood. PSA is part of the semen made in the prostate, a small chestnut-shaped gland between a man’s bladder and bowels. The test is usually used in combination with a digital rectal exam, in which a doctor might find other abnormalities as well.
But interpreting the results of the PSA test can be difficult and sometimes misleading. Most healthy men have PSA levels under 4 nanograms per milliliter of blood, according to the American Cancer Society. Generally speaking, the chance of having prostate cancer goes up as the PSA level increases. However, factors other than cancer can cause levels to rise: an inflamed or enlarged prostate, sexual activity and aging. One in nearly five men with a positive PSA will not actually have cancer. For complete story Click here
Revolutionary Robotic Treatment For Uterine Fibroids
Posted May 15, 2010
Minnesota patients have another option to consider when faced with the need for surgery. Surgeons at Allina’s United Hospital are using a new robotic system called the da Vinci S® Surgical System to perform a variety of procedures including prostate surgery, hysterectomies and myomectomies (removal of uterine fibroids)...read more
Taiwanese-led team develops surgical robot in Belgium Posted: May 15, 2010 Brussels, May 12 (CNA)
A robot developed by a Taiwanese doctoral candidate in Belgium and his research team has won acclaim for its ability to perform minimally invasive surgery precisely and with more dexterity than a currently available system.
"Medical robots will inevitably become standard equipment in medical institutions in the future," said the robot's developer Tang Hsiao-wei in an interview with the Central News Agency.
He said that at present, the Da Vinci Surgical System is the only robotic system being used for minimally invasive surgery and costs approximately NT$80 million (US$2.58 million) per unit.
One drawback, however, is that the Da Vinci system's robotic arms need a lot of maneuvering room, limiting their operating range, Tang said.
In contrast, the Vesalius robot, created by Tang's team under the sponsorship of Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, allows better control of robotic arm movements and provides better robotic dexterity.
He demonstrated the range of movement of the robotic system's arms, which he said can cover up to a 120-degree angle and extend out by as much as 17 centimeters to perform surgical procedures. The Vesalius system...continue reading
The Vesalius robot Posted May 15, 2010
On May 29, 2009 the Vesalius robot prototype made its first public demonstration at the University Hospital Gasthuisberg, K.U.Leuven in Belgium. The Vesalius robot provides both remote center of motion and adjustment functionalities in its mechanism which allows the surgical instruments to be manipulated through the small incision on a patient. The intuitive writing interface gives surgeons a down to earth way of controlling the laser ablation with the proof of better accuracy and speed.
NC Society of Otolaryngology and Head & Neck Surgery Presents 2010 Meeting May 14, 2010
The NC/SC Otolaryngology and Head & Neck Surgery Assembly will be held July 16-18 at the Grove Park Inn Resort in Asheville.
The program has been approved for 10.5 CME hours and features keynote speaker Michael Parker, MD, President of the American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy Foundation.
Dr. Parker will give two presentations at the Assembly, “Asthma: Testing and Treating for the Otolaryngologist” and “Pearls and Pitfalls in Allergy Management.” Other topics include head and neck cancers, chronic cough, dizziness diagnosis, robotic surgery, and an update on CPT coding. For more information Click here
Barbara Walters out of heart surgery, recovering 'as expected' May 14, 2010 Last updated:11.28 AM, May 15, 2010
Barbara Walters, who announced Monday on "The View" that she'd be having a faulty heart valve replaced this week, is out of surgery, ABC News reports. "Barbara Walters' surgery went well and the doctors are very pleased with the outcome."
"Ms. Walters is recovering as expected," her spokeswoman Cindi Berger said in a statement, adding that "nothing further would be said at this time."
Walters told her co-hosts Monday that with summer coming, she and her doctors had decided this was the right time for the surgery, as she could take advantage of the summer schedule to recover and then come "roaring back" in September.
She emphasized to Whoopi Goldberg that this was "not elective, it's not like ... having your face lifted."
"There's no denying that this is serious surgery," ABC News President David Westin told staffers Monday. "But ... as those of us who work with Barbara know, she's in excellent condition. So, we have every reason to expect a great result and a speedy recovery."
He noted also, in the e-mail obtained by MediaBistro, that Walters preferred folks not visit or send cards and flowers, so she could focus on getting better.
Walters said she expects to call into "The View" every now and then while recovering. For related articles Click here
Pasadena CyberKnife Center Debut the Only New Generation CyberKnife Full-Body Robotic Radiosurgery S Posted: May 14, 2010
Glendale Adventist Medical Center in Partnership with the Pasadena CyberKnife Center Debut the Only New Generation CyberKnife Full-Body Robotic Radiosurgery System in Los Angeles.
The Pasadena CyberKnife Center is the only center in Los Angeles offering CyberKnife Full-Body Stereotactic Radiosurgery treatment with the most updated system which allows faster planning and treatment times.
The CyberKnife treatment involves no cutting, no anesthesia, and is pain-free. This non-invasive outpatient procedure offers new hope to patients who have inoperable or surgically complex tumors, or who may be looking for an alternative to surgery. The CyberKnife requires no recovery time and most return to normal activities immediately following treatment....read more
American Shared Hospital Services and Kettering Medical Center to Develop Proton Therapy Center in Dayton Posted: 14, 2010
AMERICAN SHARED HOSPITAL SERVICES (AMS 2.80, -0.01, -0.35%) , a leading provider of turnkey technology solutions for advanced radiosurgical and radiation therapy services, announced today that it has entered into an agreement with Kettering Medical Center, Kettering, Ohio, to develop a proton beam radiation therapy (PBRT) center in Dayton.
"We have been working on this project for nearly three years as part of our 2016 master plan. Only recently has new technology made proton therapy economically practical for the Dayton area and its patient base," said Frank Perez, CEO of Kettering Health Network. "We are very comfortable with AMS' ability to bring proton therapy and a full continuum of cancer care to Dayton and the surrounding Midwest region."
AMS Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ernest A. Bates, M.D., said, "Long renowned for bringing the latest medical technology to patients in southwest Ohio, including a Leksell Gamma Knife(R) Perfexion(TM) system supplied by AMS, Kettering Medical Center is the ideal partner to develop this PBRT facility with us."
Proton therapy is widely regarded as the optimal radiation treatment for a wide variety of cancers....read more
Scientists create robot nano-spiders May 13, 2010
Scientists in Columbia, Arizona, Michigan, and California have developed robotic nano spiders that could one day be used inside humans to heal injuries.
The latest nanotechnology development involved programming an autonomous molecular DNA-based robot dyed green to start, move, turn, and stop while following a DNA substrate track as it tried to reach its red-dyed goal.
Of course, this is no R2D2. When are we going to get those? But it still qualifies as a robot, according to Caltech professor Erik Winfree, who said the traditional view of a robot is "a machine that senses its environment, makes a decision, and then does something." These new nano-bots certainly do that.
Robots are already in place in hospitals around the world, performing detailed operations that require a steadier hand or more precision than a human being is capable of.
This development of microscopic robots will allow operations that were previously impossible or required more invasive surgery. For example, the spiders could be programmed to sense the presence of disease within a cell, decide that it is cancerous, and then act on that decision by delivering an anti-cancerous drug.....read more
Prosurgics relaunched as FreeHand Surgical May 13, 2010
Prosurgics has been relaunched under the new name FreeHand Surgical following a £3.25 million acquisition deal.
European and UK investors have pooled resources to purchase the medical technology company in order to allow it to better capitalise on the laparoscopic surgery market in Britain and the US.
The centrepiece of the relaunched company will be the FreeHand robotic arm device, which allows surgeons to manually control the camera involved in such procedures using simple head movements.
With the use of an activating foot pedal, surgeons can tilt their heads to change the angle of the camera or zoom in and out, while the device also offers a number of speed options.
Mark Kirby, the new company's non-executive chairman, said that the augmented management team and increased financial backing will allow FreeHand Surgical to build on its current success.
He said: "Keyhole surgery is a growth area and the FreeHand robotic camera controller has the potential to be adopted by all keyhole operating theatres in the UK and USA."
Qatar Robotic Surgery Centre (QRSC) has formed an international surgical panel (ISP), which will provide it with strategic guidance and transfer expertise in clinical, educational and scientific development of robotic surgery in the country.
The panel consists of seven of the world’s most renowned experts from the US, Asia, Europe and the UK and is chaired by the UK former health minister Prof Ara Darzi.
The ISP will contribute to the establishment of QRSC as a focal point for robotic surgery expertise and will help transform Qatar into a regional hub for medical robotics Members of the panel will visit Qatar on a regular basis.They will also be engaged in specific research and training activities.
The new ISP held its first session on Tuesday, which was attended by a member and HMC surgery department chairman and robotic programme director Dr Abdulla al-Ansari. QRSC is a partnership between Qatar Science and Technology Park, HMC and Imperial College, London.
The centre has two main activities: to perform technology development in medical robotics and train in robotic and minimally invasive surgery.
Prof Darzi is one of the world’s leading surgeons at Imperial College London. Other members...continue reading
Dr. Anne Kalter, who chairs the robotic review committee at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital, explains the use of EndoWrist instruments used by the da Vinci surgical robot.
Patient complications not the fault of robot, says WDH surgeon May 12, 2010
DOVER — Dr. Anne Kalter, a surgeon who heads Wentworth-Douglass Hospital's robotic surgical committee, says she's confident the few complications experienced with the da Vinci machine were not the result of inadequate training, human error or technical difficulty.
“Most of the post-op complications are considered inherent risks with any surgery,” she said in an interview Tuesday. “We don't specifically attribute our complications to the use of the robot. We attribute it to the use of laparoscopic surgery in general, or the difficulty of the surgery. We do not blame it on the robot per se, and the complications that happened were pretty much within our normal complication rate.”
Laparoscopic surgery is considered minimally invasive and entails surgeons using instruments that allow them to operate in areas that used to be accessible only by open surgery. The da Vinci robot is the latest....continue reading
Karmanos Cancer Center Surgeon is Michigan's First to Perform Transoral Robotic Surgery on Patients DETROIT, May 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --
Surgeons who perform procedures to remove head and neck cancers often work for six to eight hours on what is typically major, invasive surgery, which many times comes with facial disfigurement and debilitating side effects for the patient.
Ho-Sheng Lin, M.D., F.A.C.S., leader of the Head and Neck Oncology Multidisciplinary Team at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Center in Detroit, is the first surgeon in Michigan to use the da Vinci® Surgical System to perform minimally-invasive surgeries on head and neck cancer patients who visit the center for treatment.
For patient Robert Spears, 70, of Detroit, there was no hesitation on his part when it came to choosing the minimally-invasive method.
"Using the robotic surgery was great because it kept my features intact," he said. "Robotic surgery was my No. 1 choice."...continue reading
Robotic Tongue Cancer Surgery-Mayo Clinic May 11, 2010
Fighting cancer is not easy. Chemotherapy, radiation and surgery can be very hard on your body. Take head and neck cancers, for example. These tumors are often hard to reach. Doctors have to cut through bones such as your jaw to reach them. Now, doctors at Mayo Clinic are using robots to access these cancers through your mouth, leaving face bones intact.
Robotic-arm Assisted Surgery New Option for Chronic Knee Pain May 11, 2010
NEWARK, N. J. -- A team at Saint Michael's Medical Center recently performed robotic-arm assisted orthopedic surgery, a technological leap that can spare healthy tissue, require a smaller incision, and result in a quicker recovery. The procedure provides a new surgical option for patients with chronic knee pain.
Saint Michael's is the first hospital in New Jersey to offer the new procedure, called MAKOplasty. MAKOplasty helps patients with early to mid-stage osteoarthritis and allows them to gain relief without having to undergo a total knee replacement. By precisely targeting the portion of the knee that has been damaged, the surgeon can avoid compromising healthy tissue, and preserve ligaments for a more natural feel to the knee. Read more
MRI Key Before Prostate Cancer Surgery? May 11, 2010 (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Having an MRI scan before prostate cancer surgery may help doctors determine if they can spare a patient's nerves and preserve erectile function.
According to researchers, robotic -assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy (RALP) is becoming a common treatment for prostate cancer. Surgeons who perform the procedure want to know if a nerve sparing technique is possible. Now, a new study investigates whether MRI could help surgeons make better decisions.
The study, which was conducted at the University of California, Los Angeles, included 104 men with prostate cancer who had an MRI performed prior to a RALP procedure. Twenty-nine of the patients had their surgical technique changed because of the MRI results. Of the patients for whom the plan was changed, 49 percent underwent nerve-sparing surgery and 40 percent had their plan changed to non-nerve sparing surgery.
"MRI before RALP appears to help surgeons make a more informed decision with regards to the aggressiveness of nerve sparing surgical technique without compromising the oncological outcome," Timothy McClure, M.D., lead author of the study, was quoted as saying.
*Source: Presented at the American Roentgen Ray Society 2010 Annual Meeting in San Diego, CA on May 6, 2010
Robotic surgery offers an effective option for rectal cancer treatment.
Surgeons demonstrate the effectiveness of robotic technique for rectal cancer May 10, 2010
City of Hope surgeons have shown that a robotic-assisted minimally invasive procedure for rectal cancer is just as effective in fighting the disease as ordinary laparoscopic techniques.
Writing in the May issue of Annals of Surgery, City of Hope’s Jeong-Heum Baek, M.D., Ph.D., Alessio Pigazzi, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues shared their successful experience with robotic total mesorectal excision for the treatment of rectal cancer. It is the first published study documenting long-term data on robotic rectal cancer surgery.
Pigazzi and colleagues were the first to publish a description of the technique in 2006.
In the latest study, the surgeons followed 72 patients with either stage 0, 1, 2 or 3 disease who received the surgery between late 2004 and mid-2008. The typical patient in the study was monitored for about 20 months.
Cancer recurred locally in about 3 percent of patients, and physicians found distant metastases in more than 6 percent of patients. More than 96 percent of patients were still alive three years after surgery, and nearly 74 percent of them had no cancer after that time. Patients experienced few complications....read more
Sanjay Razdan, M.D.,MCh.
Jackson South spreads word: It won't close From the Miami Herald — May 9, 2010
Far from shutting down, administrators say, Jackson South Community Hospital will not only stay open it also will expand to include a larger emergency room and a slew of new medical services:
•The taxpayer-funded $102 million expansion and renovation project will be finished. •The new emergency department, which will grow from 15 to 22 beds, should open by August. •The new 160,000 square-foot building's central energy plant is ready to go. •The entire project, which also includes seven new operating rooms, a cardiac cath lab, a 12-bed critical care unit, a gastrointestinal surgery suite and 48 new private patient rooms, is scheduled for completion in August 2011.
Several of the hospital's top doctors attended the session to discuss ways Jackson South can promote itself better and let potential patients know the facility, at 9333 SW 152nd St.,will not be closing after all.
Dr. Sanjay Razdan, who heads the hospital's Urology Center of Excellence, talked up the center's robotic surgery program -- and the extensive training doctors must undergo to master the robots -- as well as laser procedures for enlarged prostates and kidney stone removal.
"Hospitals around us are jumping on the robotic bandwagon," Razdan said. "We must treat Jackson South as the jewel of the Jackson Health System...." For complete story Click here
Getting to key skills May 8, 2010 by Karin Beck
Robotic surgery generated a lot of discussion during the healthcare debates. The machines are costly but are they a means to shrink total expenses by reducing the recovery time? Robotic assisted procedures are much less invasive allowing the patient to heal faster and reducing the risk of infection with smaller open areas. Or are they just the next cool toy and marketing gimmick that dramatically raises the procedure cost since the equipment and training time are very expensive. Today’s debate....continue reading
The Robot War in Total Joints is escalating – new funding for Curexo’s Robodoc technology May 8, 2010
ROBODOC, a CUREXO Technology Company (Sacramento, CA) In total hip surgery applications, the ROBODOC system executes exact bone cutting and precise implant placement to reduce surgical fractures and complications and minimize human error, FDA cleared and has been used in over 24,000 joint replacement procedures WW, Currently, new applications such as resurfacing, long bone Osteotomies, Uni-condylar knee, and spine applications are being developed. Total knee is under 501(k) review right now.
Wentworth-Douglass Hospital defends da Vinci's use May 8, 2010
DOVER — Wentworth-Douglass Hospital CEO Gregory Walker says he wasn't that surprised by the bent of a Wall Street Journal story highlighting complications with robotic surgeries.
"We had little doubt from the original questions that this would not be a positive story, based on the reporter's premise that small community hospitals are inappropriately purchasing and marketing the da Vinci robotic surgical system," Walker wrote staff Wednesday, the day the story appeared.
According to the article, "some" surgeons think WDH using the da Vinci machine about 300 times in four years is "too little for the doctors at the hospital to master it." This comes as the technology, which costs between $1 million and $2.25 million, is being marketed as a way for hospitals to gain market share, the newspaper reported.
The article reported one patient needed four additional procedures to repair damage after being operated on with the robot, two patients suffered lacerated bladders and, in June 2007, a patient died after his esophagus was perforated. In that case the surgeon operated on the man with the robot before switching to open surgery, according to the article.
WDH spokeswoman Noreen Biehl stressed Friday the hospital has "never had a death as a result of a robotic surgery in four years."
A front page Wall Street Journal article (Surgical Robot Examined In Injuries) raises safety concerns about the Da Vinci surgical robot and questions the appropriateness of its manufacturers marketing practice. I think they are throwing stones at the wrong targets.
Here is what the Journal says, by way of background
The da Vinci has been billed as a breakthrough in the quest to make surgery less invasive. With its four remote-controlled arms and sophisticated camera, it enables surgeons to operate through small incisions with greater precision and visibility.
regarding its safety
At Wentworth-Douglass [a Dover, NH hospital using the robot], however, the robot has been used in several surgeries where injuries occurred. One patient was so badly injured that she required four more procedures to repair the damage. In earlier robotic surgeries, two patients suffered lacerated bladders.
and about the marketing approach
Some surgeons have questioned the way the robot has been marketed. Intuitive Surgical has marketed the da Vinci to hospitals as a way for them to increase their revenues and gain market share.
A 14-minute video on the companys website features testimonials from surgeons and hospital administrators. A key message: The robot has been good for business. One cardiac surgeon in the video says at least 70 of his 250 annual cases are new patients who wouldnt have been referred to him if not for the robot.
Here is the problem with the Journals two arguments:
I definitely believe that injuries occurred in surgeries where the robot was deployed. And its believable that this hospital lacked the volume of cases to use the robot successfully. Yet mistakes happen in surgery all the time. A robot is no prerequisite for a medical error. Theres nothing in the article to compare these anecdotes with the rate of errors in the hospitals non-robotic surgeries. If anything I would say the article makes a good argument not to have surgery at a small hospital.
Of course the robot is being marketed to hospitals as a money maker. Thats not da Vincis fault at all. The company is just responding to the way doctors and hospitals operate: as profit-seeking, revenue maximizing entities. If someone wants to change that, blaming the robot wont help.
Pre-Clinical Study Shows Hansen Medical's Robotic Catheter System Is More Efficient and May Be Safer for Vascular Procedures May 5, 2010 Doctors' Performance Enhanced Using Hansen Medical Robot: Procedure Time Reduced 80%; Catheter Movements Decreased 90%
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA, May 05, 2010 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- Hansen Medical, Inc.(HNSN 2.56, -0.10, -3.76%) announced results from a pre-clinical study showing that use of its Sensei(R) Robotic Catheter System in procedures for treatment of vascular disease has the potential to reduce procedure time by 80 percent, which may result in a significant reduction in both radiation exposure and catheter manipulations. In addition, results from the pre-clinical study demonstrate that the robotic system improves operator performance, potentially reducing the risk of dissection or embolization. The pre-clinical study appeared in the April 2010 issue of the Journal of Vascular Surgery.
The pre-clinical study, which took place at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, was performed by a team of 15 clinicians under the guidance of Professor Nick Cheshire and Dr. Celia Riga along with Dr. Colin Bicknell and Dr. Mo Hamady. The purpose was....continue reading
Surgical Robot Examined In Injuries By JOHN CARREYROU, May 5, 2010
DOVER, N.H.—Wentworth-Douglass Hospital, a small community hospital in this coastal New England town, used a college hockey game to showcase its new technological marvel: a $1.4 million surgical robot named after Leonardo da Vinci. Click on .pdf file to read article from WSJ.
From THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: May 4, 2010
Damage Control: Dangers of da Vinci Surgery Robot The da Vinci robot is a massive machine that is used to perform minimally invasive surgery. But some experts warn that the robot can do more harm than good when wielded by inexperienced doctors. WSJ's John Carreyrou reports.
Dallas Urologist Discusses Prostate Cancer Symptoms And Prostate Cancer Treatment Options Posted May 3, 2010
Prostate Cancer: The “Prevalent” and “Inconspicuous” Cancer
Prostate cancer is the leading cancer for men in the United States with more than 230,000 men—almost 1 in 6—being diagnosed with the disease annually. When you consider this statistic, it would be fair to think that all young, and older men alike, would understand the symptoms and problems associated with this cancer. The truth, however, is that most men don’t have an understanding of what prostate cancer entails—at all.
Detecting Prostate Cancer
When Scott, a 45-year-old telecommunications sales manager in Dallas, Texas, began experiencing a slight burning sensation when he urinated, he simply brushed it off as having a minor urinary tract infection that would go away on its own.
Shortly after, he began having trouble maintaining a normal erection—something that he easily blamed as a sign of aging. When the symptoms continued to grow more troublesome for this father of two, his normal life routines became interrupted and anxiety over the condition began to increase.
It was then that he scheduled himself for an appointment with a local Dallas, Texas urologist. With one simple Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) test it didn’t take long for his doctor to deliver the news that would change his life forever—he had prostate cancer.
The prostate is a small, walnut-sized structure that makes up part of a man’s reproductive system. It affects how a man obtains an erection, how he urinates and it also helps to produce semen.
Prostate cancer is a malignant tumor that forms in the prostate gland. This particular cancer grows slowly and typically produces little symptoms until it progresses. When prostate cancer symptoms do appear, as in Scott’s case, the cancer has usually progressed and is in a further stage.
While the symptoms Scott experienced did, in fact, probably save his life, the truth is that most men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer, don’t experience any known symptoms and the ones who do, typically brush the symptoms off as part of life’s little nuisances.
That is why an annual physical is so important so that blood and urine samples can be tested. Simple tests will provide red flags for common cancers such as prostate. For example, if a young man has an elevated PSA test, this is a sign that there is something off and might possibly could be linked to prostate cancer. If this cancer is detected early, chances for survival are excellent, according to Dr. Mark Allen, MD, a North Texas Urologist. For complete story Click here
Doctors barred from using new cancer treatment equipment May 2, 2010
It is reported that NHS bosses are refusing to allow cancer patients to receive treatment with potentially life-saving technology – endorsed by senior doctors – at a hospital which has just spent £3m on it.
The Mount Vernon cancer hospital in London is the first NHS hospital to purchase a CyberKnife machine, which facilitates radiotherapy with pinpoint accuracy. It is better for tumor treatment compared to conventional radiotherapy, less damaging than surgery and can cure some patients whose conditions would otherwise be untreatable, posted leading oncologists.
However, the East of England strategic health authority's specialized commissioning group (SCG) has banned NHS patients from its region from being treated with CyberKnife at the Mount Vernon as it is not convinced the robotic radio-surgery system works.
As a result, scores of cancer sufferers every year from Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire whose doctors believe they could benefit from CyberKnife treatment will not be able to go there when it becomes operational in September. Only private patients whose insurers agree to pay will have access.
The only two CyberKnife systems currently in use in the UK are at private hospitals in Harley Street, London, where patients pay more than £20,000 for a single course of treatment.....read more
Dr. Joseph Boyer talks with Leta Roberts
Ex-smoker breathes easier after robotic surgery May 1, 2010
Leta Roberts is a former long-time smoker who faced a possible diagnosis of lung cancer. She had undergone a procedure years ago to fix a collapsed lung, and was an unlikely candidate for another invasive operation to remove the potentially malignant mass in her chest.
Florida Hospital surgeon Dr. Joseph Boyer is the first physician in Central Florida to perform a much less invasive form of thoracic, or lung, surgery using advanced robotic technology — among the growing number of robotic procedures being performed locally.
Thoracic surgery, which refers to surgery on the lungs, esophagus or diaphragm, is typically performed when a potentially cancerous mass is identified by X-ray or other scanning devices. Previously, surgeons removed the mass or portions of the lung by cutting a patient open from the stomach and around to the back, and even breaking some ribs to gain access to the lungs.
Boyer performed the operation using the latest generation of the da Vinci Surgical System, allowing him to make a few half-inch to three-quarter-inch incisions. This not only allowed Roberts to have the surgery she would have otherwise not qualified for, but the minimally invasive procedure also resulted in less scarring, faster recovery and reduced pain. For complete article Click here
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