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Robot Assisted Surgery to Remove Thymus Gland Performed for First Time on Long Island November 29, 2010
Robotic-assisted surgery to remove the thymus gland has been performed at a Long Island-based hospital for the first time. Shahriyour Andaz, MD, Director of Thoracic Oncology at South Nassau Communities Hospital, performed the procedure on a 49 year-old patient who had been diagnosed with a two-centimeter, PET-positive mass in the thymus gland.
“If I had not used the da Vinci Robotic Surgical System, the procedure would have been a traditional sternotomy, which requires a large vertical incision to break open the sternum, at least three hours to complete, and a lengthy post-operative recovery,” said Dr. Andaz.
Instead, Dr. Andaz needed just four small incisions on the left side of the chest to insert a small scope and pencil-thin robotic assisted surgical instruments. The scope provides a three-dimensional view of the surgical field on high definition monitors, while the surgical tools were used by Dr. Andaz to remove the thymus gland. The procedure took about 90 minutes and the patient was discharged from the hospital two days after the surgery.
The thymus is composed of two identical lobes and is located in front of the heart and behind the sternum. It is a specialized organ in the immune system that produces T-lymphocytes (T cells), which are critical cells of the adaptive immune system and in the production and secretion of thymosins (hormones which control T-lymphocyte activities and various other aspects of the immune system).
Treatable yet serious diseases of the thymus include Myasthenia Gravis (an autoimmune neuromuscular disease involving weakness of the skeletal or voluntary muscles) and thymoma or lymphoma cancer. The treatment option of choice for thymus disorders that do not respond to conservative medication therapies is surgery to remove the entire gland. Removing the thymus does not increase the risk of developing autoimmune diseases....continue reading
Alva Review Courier
Life-changing robotic tonsil surgery November 29, 2010
Having your tonsils removed isn't just for kids anymore. In fact, there's a growing number of people who are facing a life-threatening conditions because of their enlarged glandular tonsils.
Midwest City resident, Ralph Brown, 44, is one of those patients. OU Medical Center's Dr. Nilesh Vasan, an ear, nose and throat surgeon, is going to change Ralph Brown's life by removing his tonsils. Ralph's wife, Amy Brown, sleeps in another room because his enlarged tonsils cause severe snoring. Amy Brown says, "It sounds like a bear in a cave. That's how loud it is." Worse than the snoring, Ralph's tonsils routinely prevent him from breathing while he sleeps.
Ralph says, "My doctor says I'm lucky to be alive today. He was surprised I hadn't died in my sleep." However, instead of traditional tonsil surgery, which would involve cutting open Ralph's throat for this kind of procedure, Dr. Vasan is testing out an alternative. Vasan will get some serious assistance from the daVinci Surgical Robot. Ralph is the first patient to undergo the robot-assisted surgery.
The procedure is supposed to come with shorter recovery time and fewer chances of complications. The surgery lasted several hours and Dr. Vasan spent most of that time on the other side of the room from his patient. Vasan only got within reach of Ralph's tonsils when he needed to re-adjust the equipment.
After surgery, Ralph recovered at home. He is now sleeping better than he has his entire life. A good night's sleep means more energy to live during the day. Ralph says, "I sleep all the way through. I don't wake up five or six or seven times a night anymore.
And Ralph has lost 17 pounds so far. Dr. Vasan says many people with sleep trouble don't even realize that their tonsils are actually part of the problem. You should check with your doctor if you think you may have enlarged glandular tonsils.
Complicated Pancreatic Procedures Safely Performed with Robotic-Assisted Surgery November 29, 2010
A new study suggests that robotic-assisted surgery involving complex pancreatic procedures can be performed safely in a high-volume facility.
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh (PA, USA) conducted a retrospective review of 30 patients (median age 70 years) who underwent robotic-assisted pancreatic resection and reconstruction at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (PA, USA), between October 2008 and February 2010. The procedures reviewed included robotic-assisted non-pylorus-preserving pancreaticoduodenectomy, robotic-assisted central pancreatectomy, and robotic-assisted Frey procedure. The main outcome measures were primary pathology, operative time, operative blood loss, perioperative blood transfusions, pancreatic fistula, 90-day morbidity and mortality, and readmission rate.
The results showed that the median operative time was 512 minutes, median blood loss was 320 mL, and median length of hospital stay of 9 days. In the 90 days following the procedure, there was one postoperative death. Eight cases of pancreatic fistula occurred, only three of which were clinically significant; according to the researchers, this rate is consistent with that observed in large groups of patients undergoing open procedures. Severe 90-day complications developed in seven patients (23%), while less severe complications occurred in eight patients (27%); two patients (7%) underwent reoperation. The study was published early online on November 15, 2010, in Archives of Surgery.
“Robotic-assisted pancreatic surgery continues to evolve, and newer technologies may reduce operative times by minimizing the time associated with docking the robot as well as loading and extracting needles from the abdomen,” concluded lead author Amer Zureikat, M.D., and colleagues of the pancreatic cancer center. “Although no specific complications were attributed to long operative times in this cohort of patients, larger series of patients and shorter operative times may demonstrate the underlying benefits of robotic-assisted surgery more convincingly.”
Spring Grove man hikes Mount Rushmore 2 weeks after heart surgery November 29, 2010
Nothing was keeping Raymond Nace from a planned trip to climb Mount Rushmore last May. Not even a coronary artery bypass graft surgery, said the 72-year-old from Spring Grove. After he experienced dizziness and nearly passed out after splitting wood, Nace said his daughter forced him to go to York Hospital for treatment.
There, the not-so-average senior found out he had coronary artery disease and had to undergo a 21/2-hour surgery to detour blood flow around blocked arteries.
"I told the doctor I had a trip planned (to Mount Rushmore), and I wasn't giving it up," Nace said. And he meant it.
Raymond Nace hiked Mount Rushmore after surgery performed with the new da Vinci Surgical System. (Submitted Photo)
Two weeks after his procedure, Nace, an outdoorsman who is no stranger to mountain climbing, traveled to South Dakota to hike the 500-foot Mount Rushmore, twice.
Several patients like Nace are now able to quickly return to their regular lifestyle after surgery because of a minimally-invasive surgical approach done by the da Vinci Surgical System, a sophisticated robotic device.
Dr. Larry Shears, a cardiothoracic surgeon at the York Hospital Heart Center, is the only surgeon in the region performing the robotic-assisted surgery, said hospital spokesman Barry Sparks. Shears is also one of only two surgeons in the state with lower than expected mortality rates for heart patients, Sparks added.
Rather than a traditional open-chest procedure, Shears uses the robot to perform coronary bypass surgery through a small 21/2 inch incision. Shears has been performing the procedure for about two years and said he's operated on about 100 patients.
People who have minimally invasive robotic bypass surgery tend to recover faster, have significantly less pain and experience fewer post-surgical complications than people who undergo traditional open-chest surgery, Shears said.
A traditional surgery's length of recovery is typically six to eight weeks, he said. With the da Vinci, however, recovery length is typically four weeks, but many patients are back to their daily routines within two weeks after surgery, he added.
Nace was so gung-ho on keeping his plans to hike Mount Rushmore, Shears said he was curious as whether he would be able to pull it off. "I knew from the start that his pain would be a lot less. But I was impressed that at his age, he was able to do things a lot more quickly," Shears said.
Shears said he still performs traditional open-chest surgeries, especially when patients need to undergo several bypasses. However, he added, "there's no operation through standard incisions that (I) generally can't do robotically."
. William E. Gross, otolaryngologist, ENT
MTMC’s Dr. William Gross One of the First In Nation To Perform TransOral Robotic Surgery November 29, 2010
Dr. William E. Gross, otolaryngologist, ENT, has become one of the first physicians in the nation to perform a TransOral Robotic Surgery (TORS) procedure for the treatment of sleep apnea using the da Vinci robot. Sleep apnea is characterized by abnormally shallow breathing or unusually long pauses in breathing during sleep.
Initial reports from Europe indicate an 80 to 90 percent success rate in treating sleep apnea, versus the traditional procedure’s 40 to 50 percent success rate. “The technology of the robot allows the surgeon to visualize and operate in spaces that otherwise would not be accessible.”
The procedure involves removing overgrown tissue on the back of the tongue and takes about 45 minutes. Following surgery, patients reported mild to moderate pain, no difficulty swallowing and were able to sleep without a breathing device the first night after the procedure.
“CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) is the standard treatment for sleep apnea, but many patients are unable to tolerate CPAP and many others desire a chance for a normal night’s sleep without wearing a device. This could be achieved with successful surgery,” says Dr. Gross. For complete story Click here
At Henry Ford Hospital, Southgate resident Paul Witt, 65, is one of the first people in Michigan to undergo new TransOral Robotic Surgery. (Photo by Andre J. Jackson/Detroit Free Press)
Robotic precision cuts high risks of head-and-neck cancer surgery November 27, 2010 By PATRICIA ANSTETT Free Press Medical Writer
A new robotic surgical procedure is sparing oral cancer patients like Paul Witt from a major, potentially disfiguring operation and promises to save their speech and ability to eat while possibly helping them avoid radiation.
Witt, 65, of Southgate, a retired Detroit Edison customer services representative, was among the first in Michigan to undergo TransOral Robotic Surgery.
Detroit's Henry Ford Hospital, where Witt underwent surgery Nov. 16, and the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor are among the first in the country with the technology.
Treatment for these cancers, also called head-and-neck tumors, typically requires a doctor to make large incisions in the lip, jaw and throat, causing complications that interfere with chewing, swallowing and talking. Conventional surgery and radiation also may cause significant blood loss, swelling, longer recovery and possible damage to surrounding structures.
These tumors are in the news with celebrities like movie star Michael Douglas and movie critic Roger Ebert undergoing treatment. And for reasons not clearly understood, these cancers are rising among nonsmokers like Witt. They are linked to a virus typically associated with cervical cancers.
TransOral Robotic Surgery gives cancer patients hope for recovery
With the long slender arms of a robot, Dr. Tamer Ghanem maneuvers tools that help him see and remove a large tumor from the back of Paul Witt's mouth. It's part of a new technology that promises to transform often disfiguring surgery for head-and-neck cancers....continue reading
Health: Robotic Surgery Lesson
Viking 3DHD Vision System
Viking Systems Gets European Green Light for 3D Surgery System November 23, 2010
Having obtained approval from the FDA in September for its 3DHD Vision System, Viking Systems has now also received CE certification in Europe. The system delivers "state-of-the-art 3D vision with natural depth perception and tactile sensation" for laparoscopic and other minimally invasive procedures.
The system is the first of its kind where the surgeon, without a heads-up display or any other special adjustments, can comfortably wear light-weight glasses and operate in a 3D environment. The 3DHD is currently on show at MEDICA 2010 in Dusseldorf, Germany.
Robotic Left Pancreatectomy for Pancreatic Solid Pseudopapillary Tumor. November 23rd, 2010 | Source: Ann Surg Oncol
Authors: Ntourakis D, Marzano E, De Blasi V, Oussoultzoglou E, Jaeck D, Pessaux P
BACKGROUND: Solid pseudopapillary pancreatic tumors of pancreas are a rare entity, seen most often in females in their second or third decades. Although previously believed to be benign, this tumor is currently considered a low-grade malignant epithelial neoplasm with low metastatic rate and high overall survival.1,2 Its resection could be performed by robotic technique with respect to oncological principles to avoid tumor cell dissemination.3 METHODS: In this multimedia article, we present a 28-year-old female with a history of hyperthyroidism who underwent a computed tomography (CT) scan because of a persistent high C-reactive protein level following caesarean section. This CT scan revealed a 7-cm cystic lesion of the pancreatic tail. The serum tumor marker CA 19-9 was normal. Further investigation with an magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan showed that the lesion was macrocystic with internal septas compatible with a solid pseudopapillary neoplasm.4 The patient was treated with robotic distal splenopanceatectomy (video). RESULTS: The operative time was 5 h with an estimated blood loss of 250 mL. No blood transfusion was necessary. The postoperative period was uneventful, and she was discharged on postoperative day 8. The histological finding revealed a solid pseudopapillary tumor of the pancreas pT2pN0 (0/14 lymph nodes removed). There was no evidence of clinical, biological, and radiological pancreatic fistula, and a control CT scan on postoperative day 8 did not show any abdominal fluid collection. The patient’s 1 month follow-up was normal. DISCUSSION: The robotic distal splenopancreatectomy is a procedure that offers some technical and oncological advantages over the already described minimally invasive techniques for distal pancreatic tumors.5,6 These advantages are mainly due to the stability of the operative field, to the 3D and magnified vision, and to the articulated robotic arms.7-9 The 3D representation and the stability of the operative field facilitate the performance of operative steps, as the creation of the retropancreatic tunnel and vascular identification. Moreover, the robotic articulated arms permit a superior handling of vascular structures, allowing a fine dissection that is extremely useful during lymphadenectomy. Articulated instruments easily achieve the correct rotation axis, thus minimizing peri-pancreatic tissue retraction and manipulation of the pancreatic gland. This smooth and no-touch technique in theory minimizes the risk of pancreatic capsule rupture as well as tumor cell dissemination, respecting oncological surgical standards. However, robotic surgery needs an adequate learning curve, especially concerning the installation and the lack of force feedback. CONCLUSION: The robotic distal pancreatectomy is a possible minimally invasive technique for patients with solid pseudopapillary pancreatic tumors. It presents some advantages over the laparoscopic approach. Nevertheless its oncological indications are yet to be defined.10.
Teaching Medical Robots; Research aims to make robots smarter Posted: November 23, 2010 Story by Marlene Cimons, National Science Foundation
During the past decade, the growing use of medical robotic devices to perform minimally invasive surgery--procedures done through small incisions—has made it easier for surgeons to do many things they couldn't do before. But the new technology can't do everything—yet.
"Right now, these robots are dumb," said M. Cenk Cavusoglu, associate professor in the department of electrical engineering and computer sciences at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. "They have no intelligence at all. They are still controlled by the surgeon. We want to make the robots smarter. We want to turn them into surgical assistants, almost like giving the surgeon a third arm."
He is collaborating with Case Western Reserve colleague Wyatt S. Newman, a professor in his department; Ken Goldberg, professor, and Pieter Abbeel, assistant professor, both in the electrical engineering and computer sciences department at the University of California at Berkeley; and Ron Alterovitz, assistant professor in the University of North Carolina department of computer sciences.
The team is developing approaches and algorithms to teach the robots new skills such as suturing, tying knots and manipulating body tissues. If a robot can learn to perform these additional tasks, surgical procedures will run faster and more efficiently, Cavusoglu said.
The project is funded over four years by a $1.3 million grant from the National Science Foundation as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
The work has the potential to provide a further economic boost to the field of robotics, a dynamic component of the technology industry. "The United States is in the lead when it comes to medical robotics," Cavusoglu said. "We want to keep our advantage. We want to maintain our lead in this field, where engineering and computer sciences come together."...continue reading
Comparing Robot-Assisted with Conventional Laparoscopic Hysterectomy: Impact on Cost and Clinical Outcomes Posted: November 23, 2010
Study suggests per-case costs and surgical time increase when robot is used.
Do the clinical benefits of robot-assisted laparoscopic hysterectomy outweigh the costs associated with the technology? Not compared to conventional laparoscopic surgery, according to a new study on the 2 minimally invasive techniques.
In an analysis of more than 36,000 patient records from 358 hospitals, funded by Ethicon Endo-Surgery, researchers found no significant difference in cardiac, neurologic, wound and vascular complications between robotic and non-robotic laparoscopic hysterectomy procedures. In both cases, whether performed outpatient or inpatient, surgical complications were less than 1%.
However, robotic surgery was significantly more expensive than traditional laparoscopic hysterectomy, according to the study results published in the Journal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology. Per-patient costs increased by about $2,667 among inpatients and $1,971 among outpatients when robotic assistance was used. Surgery times also increased with robotic surgery vs. non-robotic surgery: 3.22 hours vs. 2.82 hours for inpatients and 2.99 hours vs. 2.46 hours for outpatients.
Since they found "little clinical differences in perioperative and post-operative events" associated with the 2 techniques and increased per-case costs associated with robotic hysterectomy, the researchers, led by Resad Pasic, MD, PhD, recommend "that further investigation is warranted when considering this technology for routine laparoscopic hysterectomies." Dr. Pasic, a professor at the University of Louisville, is also a speaker for Ethicon Endo-Surgery.
Dr. David I. Lee, chief of Urology at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center
Dr. David I. Lee, chief of Urology at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, is in constant pursuit of perfection. On Wednesday, November 3rd, at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, Lee completed his 2,500th robotic prostatectomy, cementing his place as one of the nation's most experienced robotic urologic surgeons.
He began his training in robotics during his fellowship at the University of California at Irvine, and had 500 of the procedures under his belt by the time he came to Penn Medicine following several years practicing in Texas.
His patient for this impressive milestone was United States Federal Judge Robert Kugler, who presides over the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey in Camden. For Kugler, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer in early October, the choice to come to Penn Presbyterian for his surgery was simple – and, at a time when hospitals increasingly tout robotic surgery capabilities in advertisements, a testament to why patients should seek out a surgeon who has extensive experience with these procedures.
“I was most intrigued by the robotic surgery, and the fact that Dr. Lee had done so many,” he says. “I talked to people who had gone to other programs, but I didn’t see any advantage to going to New York or Baltimore -- I didn’t think I could find anyone who had done more than him."...continue reading
"Lisa Laser" Improves da Vinci Precision Posted: November 19, 2010
Adventist Medical Center is the only place on the west coast that offers our patients the Lisa Laser. This device gives our surgeons more precision during a robotic-assisted surgery using the da Vinci surgical system.
HealthWatch: Laser Surgery For Prostate Cancer November 18, 2010
Studies have shown that men who have their prostate removed robotically lose much less blood, so they regain energy much more quickly. They’re also up and about and out of the hospital sooner. More importantly, cancer cure rates are the same.
“We are also trying to preserve the muscles that control your urination and we’re trying to preserve the delicate nerves and arteries that control erection function in men,” said Dr. Ketan Badani of New York-Presbyterian Hospital.
Here’s why that’s so difficult. The prostate sits right at the base of the bladder, surrounded by those all important nerves, arteries and muscles. Robotic surgery uses high magnification that allows the surgeon to see and preserve those structures. But there’s still some pulling and tugging and the use of electrical cauterization can still cause collateral damage.
“So if we can figure out a way to minimize the thermal injury and the pull stretch injury, then we might see a much better result in terms of men recovering their potency in a shorter period of time,” Badani said.
That’s where a carbon dioxide laser comes in. New technology allows the laser beam to be guided by the robot arms into very precise, microscopic spots to tease and burn away the prostate from the nerves without heating them up or damaging them. A recent study found that recovery of continence after laser assisted prostate surgery is quicker and potency may also be...continue reading
LSUHSC reports first successful salivary stone removal with robotics November 18, 2010
New Orleans, LA – Dr. Rohan Walvekar, Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Director of Clinical Research and the Salivary Endoscopy Service at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans, has reported the first use of a surgical robot guided by a miniature salivary endoscope to remove a 20mm salivary stone and repair the salivary duct of a 31-year-old patient. Giant stones have traditionally required complete removal of the salivary gland. Building upon their success with the combination of salivary endoscopic guidance with surgery, Dr. Walvekar and his team have significantly advanced the procedure by adding robotics. The technique not only saves the salivary gland, it also reduces blood loss, scarring, and hospital stay. The case is published online in the Early View (articles in advance of print) section of the journal, The Laryngoscope.
Several factors can make removal of large stones technically challenging including a small mouth opening, large teeth, and obesity, which limit access and exposure. Limited exposure also greatly complicates the identification and preservation of the lingual nerve, which provides sensation to the tongue, as well as the placement of sutures to repair the salivary duct if necessary.
"Robot-assisted removal of stones is a technical advance in the management of salivary stones within the submandibular gland," notes Dr. Walvekar. "We have found it to be helpful in performing careful dissections of the floor of mouth preserving vital structures in this region– mainly the lingual nerve, submandibular gland and salivary duct. The use of the salivary endoscopes in addition to the robotic unit makes the procedure even safer and target oriented."...continue reading
New York Robotic Surgery Expert Dr. David Samadi, MD Discusses Breakthrough Prostate Cancer Discovery November 17, 2010
Surgically Removed Prostate Gland Is Kept Alive And Functional For A Week
PRNewswire/ -- A new technique has been discovered that could potentially impact research of prostate cancer and how the tumor functions. The technique surgically removes a normal and cancerous prostate gland and keeps it alive and functioning in a lab for up to a week. "This discovery is significant because it could eventually result in individualized medications and prostate cancer treatments for patients," said Dr. David Samadi, a robotic prostatectomy expert, as well as the Vice Chairman, Department of Urology, and Chief of Robotics and Minimally Invasive Surgery at The Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City.
Previous attempts to work on live tissues after prostate removal surgery would result in "lost tissue architecture" and poor viability, which would render the tissue useless for research or therapy development. "This is an exciting development in prostate cancer news because it can help scientists better predict how living prostate glands will respond to therapy in a controlled environment," said Dr. Samadi, "It's very promising for the future testing of anticancer drugs that will work best on the individual patient."
In the past, pathologists would store tissue samples in paraffin wax, which would kill the tissue and essentially "freeze" the samples in time. Alternately, scientists would test prostate cancer cells that had been grown in nutrient-filled flasks and keep them under stringent temperature conditions in the research labs. "The problem with this method was that the cells were not connected together in a type of tissue architecture that exists in a real live prostate gland," said Dr. Samadi, "This tissue architecture is what holds the clue to why certain therapies work and others don't, which is why the best model is the intact, live prostate gland."
In studying this technique, scientists at Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, University of Helsinki and Stanford University worked together to get tissue samples from the operating room to the pathology lab quickly after prostate removal surgery. Scientists cut thin slices of the prostate glands from 18 prostate surgery patients at their hospitals. The slices were just thick enough to allow cells to continue to maintain their normal exchange of gases and growth. The tissues were then placed in a liquid solution to keep the proper chemical and nutritional balance for the tissue's biological functions.
The researchers then validated and ensured the viability of the biomarkers and prostate tissues. "Tissues have a short shelf life, so experiments like these need to be conducted on fresh samples within one week, which is sometimes not enough time for some types of research," said Dr. Samadi.
The scientists used a tissue-culture technique known to repair......continue reading
Organs and Operating Systems
The Medical Community Gets a Robotic Helping Hand
Several weeks ago in the Montreal General Hospital, 68-year-old Gilles Lefort was put to sleep and had his prostate cancer successfully removed—by robots. Posted: November 17, 2010
No longer solely the domain of Brave New World style science-fiction, medical robots are quickly becoming widely used in surgery rooms. McSleepy, an automated anesthetic machine and Da Vinci, a set of mechanized arms, are subjects of ongoing controversy within the medical community. Cost, efficiency, malpractice and ethical considerations have some questioning the benefits of robot-assisted surgery.
Humans are not left out of the operating room altogether—at least not yet.
“The anesthesia process is a complex one, in which many variables must be accounted for by professional experience and intuition,” said Dr. Pavel Straka, an anesthesiologist. “If doctors become replaced and the procedure goes wrong, McSleepy is incapable of fixing it.”
Dr. Thomas Hemmerling, the anesthesiologist during Lefort’s surgery, maintains that within 10 years, robots will be ever-present in most operating rooms. That is not to say that doctors will not be needed.
“Robots allow doctors to work to their fullest potential and to provide the patient with the greatest benefits possible,” said Hemmerling. “The two work in conjunction.” In fact, Da Vinci’s arms are basically an extension of the doctor’s own body. The surgeon gazes through a computer console to direct the procedure. An enlarged, three-dimensional view of the space helps the doctor clearly see where the arm is operating.
The same procedure applies for the anesthetic, as Hemmerling oversees the operation and will manually intervene only in emergency situations.
“McSleepy is an automated box that dispenses anesthetic and self-monitors the drug levels within the patient,” said Hemmerling. It allows the doctor to examine other vital signs, such as air tube obstruction, that are sometimes overlooked when too much attention is paid to monitoring drug levels.
A big issue is who is responsible in the instances where something does go wrong. Current malpractice laws hold the doctor accountable for any death or injuries sustained by the patient, even in cases of negligence. The litigation process is complicated because there are no clear-cut laws regarding robots yet.
Hemmerling believes that future laws on robotic malfunctioning will most likely be similar to today. If a surgeon messes up, he’ll be the one responsible. However, if it is not the doctor’s fault, the company that produces the malfunctioning robot will be held liable....continue reading
Robotic-assisted surgery appears safe for complicated pancreatic procedures November 15, 2010
A study involving 30 patients suggests that robotic-assisted surgery involving complex pancreatic procedures can be performed safely in a high-volume facility, according to a report posted online today that will be published in the March print issue of Archives of Surgery.
Complex pancreatic surgery "remains the final frontier" for use of minimally invasive procedures, the authors write as background information in the article. These operations present two technical challenges: controlling bleeding from major blood vessels and reconstructing ducts in the liver and pancreas.
"Despite recent data suggesting that complex pancreatic operations can be performed laparoscopically at high-volume centers, the use of traditional laparoscopic instruments has required that critical technical principles of open pancreatic surgery be modified to overcome the limitations of current technology," they continue. "Examples include limited range of instrument motion, poor surgeon ergonomics, reliance on two-dimensional imaging and reduced dexterity," the authors note.
Robotic-assisted surgery may help to overcome some of these difficulties, allowing difficult pancreatic surgeries to be performed with the safety and efficacy of open surgery but with the potential benefits of laparoscopic procedures, note Amer H. Zureikat, M.D., and colleagues at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Cancer Institute. The authors report their experience with 30 patients who underwent robotic-assisted pancreatic resection (removal of part of the organ) between October 2008 and February 2010....continue reading
Photo: Getty Images
New Robotic Kidney Surgery Could Save Lives Novenber 15, 2010
A new type of robotic surgery could save the lives of patients with tumors of the kidneys. Current surgery involves cutting out the tumors, often taking with them sections of healthy tissue. Blood supply to the entire kidney is temporarily stopped while the tumors are removed to prevent excessive bleeding.
Sometimes damage is done to the kidneys and they stop functioning correctly, leading the patient to require organ transplantation.
With the new technique, surgeons can cut off the blood supply to the individual tumors, using robotic technology, while leaving the rest of the healthy tissue intact. This means they can remove tumors without having to interrupt blood flow to the entire kidney.
Dr. Inderbir S. Gill, inventor of the new technique, from the Institute of Urology at the University of Southern California, said, “Good kidney function over the long-term is particularly important in patients with kidney cancer. We’re optimistic this new robotic surgical technique, that allows the healthy part of the kidney to be saved, will enable the best possible function of the organ, which we hope can increase the patient’s life-span.” The technique has only been around for nine months and only been used on 50 patients, mostly from the United States but also from India, Hong Kong and the United Kingdom.
Scientists are now planning to compare this group of patients with other kidney cancer patients to see if there are any differences in kidney function and survival.....continue reading
Surgical Grand Rounds: The Use of Robotic Technology in Pediatric Surgery November 12, 2010
Juan Camps, assistant professor in the Miller School of Medicine’s Division of Pediatric Surgery, will present “The Use of Robotic Technology in Pediatric Surgery” on Thursday, November 18 from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at the Rosenstiel Medical Science Building, fourth-floor auditorium. Upon completion of this lecture, participants will be able to review the potential benefits of robotic surgery to open surgery and traditional laparoscopic surgery in the pediatric population.
The University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine designates this educational activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit.
For more information, please contact Elisa Arguelles at 305-585-1280
Hansen Medical's Investigational Flexible Catheter Vascular Robotic System to Be Presented at International Symposium Posted: November 11, 2010
37th Annual VEITHsymposiumTM of Vascular Surgeons and Interventionalists Sponsored by Cleveland Clinic
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA--(Marketwire - November 10, 2010) - Hansen Medical, Inc. (NASDAQ: HNSN), a global leader in flexible robotics and the developer of robotic technology for accurate 3D control of catheter movement, today announced that its investigational flexible catheter vascular robotic system, including an overview of its preclinical evaluation and the recently completed First in Man study, will be presented at the upcoming 37th annual VEITHsymposium™ November 17-21 at the Hilton New York in New York City.
"This five-day annual symposium is one of the year's most important gatherings of vascular surgeons and interventionalists from around the world. Based on the initial clinical work, I believe our robotic system has the potential to standardize catheter navigation," said Bruce Barclay, president and CEO of Hansen Medical. "The expected regulatory submission, clearance and commercialization of our vascular robotic technology next year is a critical element to our overall business strategy, and this conference allows the progress made to be shared with many of the world's foremost clinicians and thought leaders in the vascular surgery and interventional community."
The presenters will include the clinicians that conducted the First in Man Study, including Alan Lumsden, M.D., and Jean Bismuth, M.D., of the DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center in Houston, Texas; and Borut Gersak, M.D., Ph.D., and Milenko Stankovic, M.D., of the University Medical Centre, Ljubljana, Slovenia. Professor Gersak and Professor Lumsden were the study's principal investigators. The presenters will also include Nick Cheshire, M.D., and Celia Riga, MB BS, BSc, MRCS (Eng), of St. Mary's Hospital, part of the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, in London, England, who have been pioneering the use of flexible robotics in vascular interventions.
Along with the presentations at the VEITHsymposium, an additional presentation featuring Hansen Medical's investigational vascular robotic system will be offered at the AIMsymposium™, which is focused on interventionalists, sponsored by the Cleveland Clinic and being held concurrently at the Hilton New York.
The interest of robotic surgery in benign gynaecological pathologies By: Prof. Michelle Nisolle
In recent decades, new techniques and instruments were introduced and permitted the development of Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS). In 1989, hysterectomy, one of the most frequent gynaecological surgeries, has been described for the first time by laparoscopy in USA by H. Reich (1). But in recent review of 538.772 hysterectomies performed in USA for benign pathology, the rate of laparoscopic hysterectomy has been found to be very low (11.8 %) when compared to abdominal hysterectomy (66 %) and vaginal hysterectomy (21.8 %) (2).
This slow development of laparoscopic hysterectomy is in relation with the difficulty of this type of procedure, the length of the learning curve and the risk of complications associated with such a difficult procedure.
Since a few years, robotic systems are available offering several advantages to the surgeon such as three-dimensional visualisation, magnification of the surgical field, the absence of tremor and articulated instruments that can move with multiple levels of freedom.
The first question is therefore to know if the robotic assisted hysterectomy could be associated with a significant decrease in the learning curve period as well as in the post-operative complications rate (3). In 2009, Nezhat et al evaluated the feasibility, safety, advantages and disadvantages of using robotic technology in a large group of patients (4). In their series of 87 patients, the average length of the surgeries was 205 minutes. There were no conversions to laparotomy and 3 complications were noted. They concluded that the 3D vision, a faster learning curve for suturing and operating are the main advantages of robotic assisted surgery.
“The robotic technology seems to offer the opportunity to bridge the gap between laparotomy and laparoscopy”. The time for suturing might be shorter, the skill limitation is counterbalanced by the technology and it could allow a less-skilled laparoscopist to perform suturing.
Between February 2009 and June 2010, in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of the CHR Citadelle, University of Liege, we have performed 60 robotic assisted surgeries for gynecological benign disease: 42 hysterectomies, 9 cases of endometriosis (ovary and deep infiltrating endometriosis), 7 tubal reanastomosis and 2 myomectomies.
The average length of the surgeries was 197 minutes. No laparotomy was performed and 4 complications were observed in the group of hysterectomies. In one case, a severe peritonitis was diagnosed in the immediate post-operative period and required massive intravenous antibiotherapy. In 2 cases, pelvic pain associated with inflammatory reaction required rehospitalisation and antibiotics for 48 hours. In the fourth case, a vaginal laceration was diagnosed and sutured at the end of robotic assisted hysterectomy.
According to our results, we can confirm that the previously described advantages of robotic surgery are helpful for the surgeon. The surgeon could work very precisely and less skilled laparoscopic surgeons had no difficulty to perform total laparoscopic hysterectomy. Indeed, the most difficult steps of this procedure such as vaginal opening and suturing can be performed with a very short learning curve by using robotics when compared to conventional laparoscopy.....continue reading
Surgeons Use daVinci Robot to Rebuild Man’s Tongue after Severe Damage from Radiation November 11, 2010
MONTEFIORE MEDICAL CENTER
As the official firehouse cook for the Lindenhurst Fire Department, 66-year-old Tom Scaccia has been preparing meals for himself and his fellow volunteers for the past 20 years. His enthusiasm for that role was diminished when radiation therapy for tongue cancer left him in chronic pain and unable to swallow.
The retired Long Island Railroad worker, who is still an active volunteer fireman and SPCA peace officer, was limited to eating pureed foods. While the radiation had effectively eliminated his cancer, it had also severely damaged tissue at the base of his tongue. A novel transoral robotic surgery performed at the Montefiore-Einstein Center for Cancer Care in the Bronx has returned Mr. Scaccia’s life to normal. Referred to Montefiore by his doctors in Long Island, Mr. Scaccia today is free of pain and back to his regular activities. “I call it a miracle,” he said. Learn more at: montefiore.org
New York Robotic Surgery Expert and Urologic Oncologist Dr. David Samadi, MD Discusses Recent Findings That Aspirin May Assist With Prostate Cancer Treatment.
NEW YORK, Nov. 10, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Aspirin comes to the rescue again, as a potential prostate cancer treatment option. A new study presented at the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) in San Diego, shows that it may cut the risk of dying for men with prostate cancer that has not spread beyond the prostate gland. "The study showed that prostate cancer patients taking blood thinning, or anticoagulant medication, specifically aspirin, had a lower risk of mortality, more so in high-risk patients," said Dr. David Samadi, a robotic prostatectomy expert, as well as the new Vice Chairman, Department of Urology and Chief of Robotics and Minimally Invasive Surgery at The Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City.
In a study group of more 5,000 men with prostate cancer, 2,000 were taking aspirin or another anticoagulant; their risk of dying from the cancer was reduced by more than half. Researchers found that a blood thinning medication could lower the incidence of death for those patients with localized prostate cancer, by about 50 percent. "Prostate cancer that spread to the bone was reduced while PSA (prostate-specific antigen) blood levels were also better regulated," said Dr. Samadi.
Aspirin has existed in every medicine cabinet since the 1800's and continues to be the most effective drug around. It is the least expensive and most versatile drug that regulates so many conditions. "It's almost a miracle drug, reducing inflammation, fever and it can save your life with a variety of conditions and cancers," said Dr. Samadi.
Aspirin blocks the production of prostaglandins, which regulate pain and inflammation. However, it also blocks prostaglandins that protect the stomach lining, resulting in stomach bleeding. These nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, which include ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) and naproxen (Aleve), cause the most stomach irritation. Coated or buffered aspirins, such as Ecotrin or Bufferin respectively, can reduce stomach issues. Still, aspirin is versatile enough, in specific dosages, to protect the cardiovascular system by preventing blood clots and relaxing constricted blood vessels, while not irritating the stomach.
"Aspirin has evolved from being a mere painkiller to more of an anti-platelet and anti-inflammatory agent," said Dr. Samadi. He advised patients not to take NSAIDs at the same time, since they pretty much cancel each other out, thereby reducing aspirin's clotting ability. "It's best to wait eight to 12 hours between drugs to reap the benefit of both, for example, taking the painkiller in the morning and aspirin at night," said Samadi.
When it comes to prostate cancer, aspirin may be the key in fighting prostate cancer and preventing metastasis, or advanced prostate tumor spread. Previous studies had mixed results, perhaps because the patient already had metastasis.
"If the cancer had already metastasized, then it stands to reason that aspirin may not have been as beneficial," said Dr. Samadi. Samadi believes that the prostate cancer news from this study are promising, but as always, more research is necessary before using aspirin as a standard treatment of prostate cancer.
New Kidney Cancer Surgery Technique Could Reduce Organ Damage November 10, 2010
National Cancer Research Institute Press Release
A new method of surgery for kidney cancer could help reduce organ damage, leading to more successful treatment of the disease, scientists have discovered.
This is achieved without stopping blood supply to the kidney at all – minimising kidney damage. Larger, more serious tumours could also be removed by this technique.
Existing methods of kidney-sparing surgery stop blood flow to the kidney while the tumour is removed.
Stopping blood flow, even briefly, can affect kidney function, which can have an impact on the patient’s long-term survival.
Dr Inderbir S Gill, pioneer of this new technique based at the University of Southern California said: “Good kidney function over the long-term is particularly important in patients with kidney cancer. “We’re optimistic this new robotic surgical technique, that allows the healthy part of the kidney to be saved, will enable the best possible function of the organ, which we hope can increase the patient’s life-span.”
Under the new method, surgeons can control specific branches of the kidney’s arteries which directly supply blood to the tumour. Blood supply to the rest of the kidney stays untouched.
So far the technique - first used nine months ago - has been carried out successfully on 50 patients mostly in the US but also in the UK, India and Hong Kong.
Scientists now plan to compare patients having the new technique with those going through established methods of surgery to find out whether effectiveness of treatment, kidney function, and patient survival differ....continue reading
Use of less invasive robotic surgery grows among N.J. surgeons November 7, 2010 Partial story from Seth Augenstein/The Star-Ledger For complete story Click here
While the patient lay in a dark operating room, his surgeon performed the heart bypass surgery from a nearby room at Saint Michael’s Medical Center.
Robotic surgery has been around for a decade, but has only recently begun to carve out this significant niche in medicine.
A combination of better tools and — more importantly — surgical experience has resulted in a boom of robotic surgeries worldwide. In New Jersey, where the first all-robotic kidney transplant ever was performed at St. Barnabas Medical Center in 2008, surgeons report they rely on robots to assist them in as many as half their operations.
The reasons are simple, doctors say. Robotic tools allow them to cut less, spill less blood, leave less scarring and pain and probe with greater precision than ever before. They say that while no machine can ever replace a surgeon’s instinct, no surgeon can replicate a robot’s steady hand.
DECADE OF ROBOTICS
A goal in surgery in the last decade-plus has been to intrude as little as possible on the body. Laparoscopic gallbladder and kidney removals, the first "minimally invasive" surgeries, have been a medical standard for 20 years. But the technology has limitations such as the 2-D view, according to surgeons like Stuart Geffner, director of transplant surgery at Saint Barnabas Medical Center, who performed that first all-robotic kidney transplant two years ago.
Since first approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2000, robots have become a new standard in some more complex surgeries, such as prostatectomies and hysterectomies, according to surgeons.
By far the most common robotic machine is the da Vinci Surgical System.
The latest model was released last year, which added high-definition 3-D imaging and an updated interface to the machine, and made it easier for surgeons to use. Surgeons have responded. In 2009, the da Vinci robot assisted about 90,000 prostate surgeries and 70,000 hysterectomies worldwide, according to Intuitive. The combined number is eight times greater than it was five years ago. A SURGEON’S INSTINCTS
The International Online Surgical and Stem Cell Medical Center
The International Online Surgical and Stem Cell Medical Center
receives patients from all over the world and by using the e health and telesurgery facilities of the IOSSCMC, supplies the patients with the latest advances in modern medical practice to include Robotic Surgery, Stem Cell Therapy and Minimally Invasive Surgery.
Our international professional specialist doctors can direct our patients through the most advanced technology anywhere in the world.
The IOSSCMC uses telesurgery facilities to monitor surgery remotely from any location so that the high accuracy and appropriate experts coordinated by Dr. Alansari will be available. We are happy that our online patients will save time and money when they are treated through our center and by the international medical centers that are associated with Dr. Alanasai.
The centers are located in many countries of the world to include the USA ,The UK, Germany, Italy, France, Greece, UAE, Croatia and others. Our patients are directed and followed during every step of their management program.
Titan Medical Signs Development Agreement With Sagentia November 5, 2010 By: TMD
Development of Next Generation Robotic Surgery System on Path for Clinical Setting
Titan Medical Inc. has signed an agreement with Sagentia Inc., a world leading technology and product development company, for the industrial design and development of certain core aspects related to the Company's Amadeus robotic surgical system.
Under the terms of the agreement, Sagentia will work with Titan to develop the core structure and mechanisms of the Surgeon Console, from front end needs analysis through to transfer to manufacture, in order to aid in the delivery of innovation and commercial value of the Amadeus Platform.
Dr. Reiza Rayman, President of Titan Medical Inc., commented, "We are proud to join Sagentia's client base which includes leading multinational medical manufacturers and high innovation start-ups. This partnership will enable us to accelerate development of Amadeus in its final pre clinical phase, while adhering to the highest technological standards in the industry."
Brent Hudson, Chief Executive Officer of Sagentia, said, "We are excited about this opportunity to collaborate with Titan Medical on developing its cutting edge robotic surgery system. We are pleased to be Titan's selected partner, leveraging our strengths in complex R&D product development requirements and helping the company to bring its innovative value proposition to the market."
the patent on the Robodoc is held by a Korean SME called Curexo Inc.
Breakthrough for the Surgical Industry, “Robodoc” November 5, 2010
There is a surgical robot much beloved by orthopedic surgeons, it has been referred to as 'the Robodoc.' Why is the Robodoc (the world's first automatic surgical robot) prized by global medical circles? To learn what is behind the Robodoc's popularity, Korea IT Times interviewed Lee Kyeong-hoon, CEO of Curexo Inc.
The two most well-known surgical robots are the da Vinci Surgical System and the MAKO Surgical Robot. The da Vinci Surgical System is designed for operations on internal organs such as the heart, while the MAKO Surgical Robot is for surgery used to sculpt the knee and replace only what is necessary. However, both robots are not complete. Thus far, the Robodoc of Curexo Inc. is the only mechanism that deserves the title of being the world's first and best medical robot.
Performing complete automatic knee surgery is impressive, but more striking is that the patent on the Robodoc is held by a Korean SME called Curexo Inc. "I have so far encountered many naysayers who were skeptical of the possibility of a Korean SME breaking into the global market with creative items. However, as we have come so far to put our business on the right track, Curexo Inc. is not thirsting for the attention of the Korean government, large companies and consumers", said CEO Lee.
As of now, the Robodoc has been better received by overseas markets than in the domestic market. Foreign buyers, especially Japanese buyers such as distributor Nakasima Group and sub-distributor Komikan Minota Group signed a contract with us to guarantee shipments of 100 units for five years. This high demand for the Robodoc stems from their aging population....continue reading
Washington Hospital Physician Takes National Honors for Using Advanced Technology to Treat Brain Tumors November 4, 2010
FREMONT, Calif.--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--David Larson, MD, PhD, co-medical director of Washington Hospital’s innovative Gamma Knife Program, was awarded the Gold Medal from the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO), the organization’s most prestigious award given to only two individuals each year. Dr. Larson received the award for his contributions to the management of brain tumors and the field of radiation oncology.
“It’s truly an honor to have a physician of this caliber on the Hospital’s medical staff,” said Nancy Farber, chief executive officer of Washington Hospital Healthcare System. “Dr. Larson is just one example of the high caliber medical staff that is available locally to care for our patients.”
Dr. Larson accepted the award at the Society’s 52nd Annual Meeting held in San Diego. The meeting attracted more than 10,000 attendees from around the world.
The Gold Medal is bestowed on revered members who have made outstanding contributions to the field of radiation oncology, including research, clinical care, teaching and service according to ASTRO’s website, the world’s leading organization devoted to radiation oncology. Its members include more than 9,000 medical and scientific professionals who use radiation therapy to treat patients with cancer and other diseases....complete story
Groundbreaking pancreas transplant by robot to help diabetics November 4, 2010 from diabetes.co.uk
The first pancreas transplant using robots has been performed in Italy. A 43-year-old mother-of-two had the three-hour procedure in Pisa Hospital, suffering no complications from the operation, with the new organ being accepted completely. The woman has suffered from type 1 diabetes since she was 24, and already received a kidney transplant.
The pioneering procedure used the Da Vinci SHDI robot, which assisted in the removal of the woman's pancreas and inserted a new one just by making just three small holes and an incision that was only seven centimetres long. The robot, designed in the Robotic Surgery centre in Pisa, is large and has several arms.
It is hoped that the transplant will allow new treatments for diabetes patients, as it is a far less invasive approach than traditional surgery . Up until now, transplants of the pancreas have been extremely invasive due to the vascular structure of the organ and the fragile state of diabetes patients, as half of these cases develop post-operative problems.
Ugo Boggi, who was lead surgeon for the operation, said the procedure "ends a diatribe that lasted for decades on the advisability of transplanting pancreases because of the hugely invasive nature of traditional techniques and the massive incidence of post-op complications."
Area physicians and residents get closer look at Robotic Surgery November 3, 2010 By Nicole Pitt
VERONA, N.Y. (WKTV) - On Wednesday, area physicians and the general public were invited to get a closer look at how the Da Vinci Surgical System works.
Surgeons use their hands and feet to manipulate the arms of the robot, only needing to make a small incision.
Dr. Myron Luthringer from Community General Hospital in Syracuse performs 99% of his surgeries with the system, and he says he keeps hearing the same thing from his patients.
"I've had patients wake up in the recovery room and say 'oh my goodness, my pain is gone,' and I say 'how can your pain be gone, you just had surgery' and they say 'my pain is gone,'" Dr. Luthringer said. "So the patients have been able to have their life given back to them."
Dr. Luthringer says patients undergoing robotic surgery have a much shorter hospital stay and overall recovery time. More than a dozen surgeons in Central New York are currently being trained to use the system.
Surgeons at Glendale Adventist Medical Center Perform Dual Robotic Surgery
Photo Release -- Surgeons at Glendale Adventist Medical Center Perform Dual Robotic Surgery November 3, 2010
GLENDALE, Calif., Nov. 4, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Doctors at Glendale Adventist Medical Center successfully performed a dual robotic surgery on a female patient last week (October 29). Using the da Vinci Surgical System, Dr. Ata Mazahari performed gallbladder surgery first and immediately after, Dr. John Kirk performed a hysterectomy using the same robot, same anesthesia, and same small incisions.
With robotic surgery, patients experience reduced trauma to the body, reduced blood loss and need for transfusions, less post-operative pain and discomfort, less risk of infection, shorter hospital stays, faster recovery and less scarring.
"This gives you precision, better visualization and improves your accuracy. Using the da Vinci Surgical System, the patient can come in the morning and be released the same day. With conventional open surgery, this procedure would have required a 4-day stay," said Dr. Mazahari. "We used tiny incisions, 4 incisions of 8-12 millimeters, so there was less pain and improved activity for the patient so she could go home sooner."
"This was an advanced surgery. With conventional open surgery, there would have been more pain, more blood loss and more chance of infection. By joining with another surgeon and doing dual robotic surgery, in addition to serving the patient better, we also saved the system time and money," said Dr. Kirk. "First Dr. Mazahari removed the gall bladder, then we re-positioned the table and machine so I was able to do the second surgery. It saved the patient from having anesthesia exposure for a second time. The entire procedure took about 2 ˝ hours."......Complete story
Dr. Erik Dutson, sitting at home in Los Angeles, waves to students in Milan, Italy, who are watching him on a monitor that serves as the "head" of a teaching robot. Dutson taught them how to perform minimally-invasive surgery
Robot helps prof train new surgeons in Italy November 3, 2010
UCLA’s Dr. Erik Dutson recently instructed new surgeons in Milan, Italy, in advanced minimally-invasive surgical techniques — and he did it from a laptop computer while sitting at his kitchen table in Los Angeles.
Using an android-like robot that he controlled from his home with joysticks, Dutson was able to interact with trainees and faculty in Italy and “move” around the room without actually being there. On a monitor that comprised the robot’s head, they could watch Dutson as he answered questions in real time from Los Angeles. On his laptop screen, he could see them, thanks to a camera mounted to the robot.
The technology, called the InTouch Health robotic system, has typically been used by doctors who want to check on hospitalized patients remotely. In fact, the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center utilizes RONI, the robot,to do just that in its neuro intensive care unit. Virtual teaching experiences, however, are becoming increasingly popular as this technology becomes more available....continue reading
Central Florida Physician Sets Worldwide Robotic Surgery Record Posted: November 3, 2010
Dr. Patel, medical director of the Global Robotics Institute at Florida Hospital, is in a league of his own when it comes to robotic surgery. He recently performed his 4,000th robotic prostatectomy. In 2001, Dr. Patel was one of the earliest adopters of robotic surgery. He calls the technique that is now in demand by patients around the world, "the future of healthcare."......View Video
Virtual Incision Corporation
Virtual Incision rounds up $2 million November 2, 2010
Virtual Incision Corp. closes a $2 million Series A financing round that the Lincoln, Neb.-based company intends to use for prototyping its robotic surgery technology.
The surgical robotics developer said the financing will be used to develop prototypes for its single-incision laparoscopy device platform. Virtual Incision said its technology employs existing surgical tools and techniques that surgeons are already familiar with, and plans for colon resection procedures to be its device's first application.
The company also announced the establishment of its headquarters in Lincoln, Neb., not far from the University of Nebraska, through which the company exclusively licenses its technology.
The company's founders, Shane Farritor and Dr. Dmitry Oleynikov, are both professors at the school.
The funding round was lead by Sioux Falls, S.D.-based PrairieGold Venture Partners and Bluestem Capital Company LLC, according to the company.
Palm Beach medical events scheduled for 2010-11 season Updated: 5:48 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 17, 2010 Posted: November 1, 2010
• Cleveland Clinic Florida will present a men's health lecture at 6 p.m. Nov. 9 at its Health and Wellness Center, on the 14th floor of CityPlace Tower in West Palm Beach. Urologist Dr. William Gans, sports medicine specialist Dr. Evan Peck and cardiologist Dr. Darryl Miller will discuss urology, robotic prostate surgery, orthopaedics and more during the hour-long presentation. To register, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (800) 691-6555
• New York-Presbyterian Hospital's annual medical symposium, Frontiers in Medicine: Minimally Invasive Surgery, will be held at The Mar-a-Lago Club March 14. Registration will begin at 9:30 a.m., and the two-hour symposium will start at 10 a.m. There is no charge to attend. For more information, contact Lucia Falco-Sardana via email@example.com or by calling (212) 342-0792
For more scheduled events between November 2010 and March 2011Click here
Online Medicine The Doctor is IN Posted: November 1, 2010
Technology has changed our lives drastically over the past 20 years. Just about everything can be done online these days from shopping, dating and working to even consulting a doctor thousands of miles away.
One of the fastest growing online medical Internet platforms is Myca which allows doctor-patient consultation remotely, by phone, email, instant messaging or even videoconferencing. It also enables patients to schedule doctor’s appointments online. Myca is barely two years old but has gained quite a following. In the US, the Myca Platform goes under the Hello Health trademark. Welcome to today’s e-practice. The doctors call themselves “your friendly 21st doctors in the neighbourhood”.
Telemedicine / virtual medicine encompasses any digital form (e-mail, fax, telephone, videoconferencing, etc.) of bringing together patients and physicians. However, with the arrival of less expensive broad-band internet access and digital imaging, telemedicine currently refers to interactive, full motion, two-way video and audio over high-speed data networks. Patients and physicians are connected through secure web camera video that also allows rapid assessment of the patient.
What makes e-practices appealing?
(1) Cost-efficiency. E-practices need fewer personnel to run and operate, need less space to rent, thus have less overhead. This translates into cheaper bills for patients. E-practices normally charge less than the traditional doctor’s practice. (2) Convenience. E-practices are efficient and convenient. Patients can set appointments online, and can choose the media they prefer. There are less hassles, no long waiting time in waiting rooms, no long drives or commutes to see a specialist. Refilling of prescriptions goes faster. Medical information is all stored electronically, easily available for future use. (3) Privacy. For one reason or another, patients may prefer a more discrete way of consulting a doctor rather than just simply walking into a doctor’s practice. E-practices offer the anonymity that many patients may wish for. For the Internet generation, online medicine is hip and cool. The Facebook-like platform of Hello Health appeals to this age group.
Skeptics, however, assert that virtual practices can’t truly replace traditional face-to-face medical practice. Here are their arguments:
(1) Lack of empathy. Many people feel that medicine is becoming dehumanized by technological advancement. Bedside manners are important aspects of medicine wherein e-practices are rather lacking. A picture on the video screen or a voice over the phone is no substitute for a flesh-and-blood doctor. (2) Data protection and privacy. E-practices have to rely on electronic health records. Due to well-publicized cases of data stealing and hacking, concerns over data protection are still a major hurdle to overcome. (3) Regulation and accreditation. Virtual practices now exist all over the world, from Europe to India. Anybody can pretend to be health practitioner online. Scams over the Internet abound. Think about online pharmacies that offer all types of medications that may turn out to be counterfeit, much worse dangerous. Many health advocates are concerned about similar scams that can put the susceptible patient at risk. Currently, there are no real regulations governing e-practices.....read more
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