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Piece of robot fell into patient's abdominal cavity, and surgeon didn't notice, $475,000 lawsuit says
September 30, 2014
A woman who claims she went through such excruciating abdominal pain that she couldn’t work -- only to discover that a piece of a robotic arm had dropped unnoticed into her abdominal cavity during surgery seven months earlier -- filed a $475,000 lawsuit last week.
Heidi Carlson's suit, filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court, states that she underwent surgery at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center on Sept. 26, 2012, and that a piece of a da Vinci surgical robot fell into her abdominal cavity. The lead surgeon, Dr. Philippa Ribbink, didn’t notice and sewed her up, according to the suit.
After the surgery, Carlson developed “severe, incapacitating pain” in her abdomen, but Ribbink didn’t order any scans, the suit states.
“Ms. Carlson continued to suffer inexplicable, violent, excruciating and debilitating bouts of abdominal pain for months,” states her suit, filed by Portland attorney Diego Conde.
In April 2013, seven months after surgery, a CT scan and an X-ray showed a foreign, metal object in her abdominal area, states the suit. She underwent a second surgery to remove the object in June 2013, and it was later determined to be a piece of the robot, according to the suit........continue reading
Photo courtesy of Jean Lachat
Frankfort resident seeks out robot for open-heart surgery
September 19, 2014
Leroy "Rocky" Cooper is back on the links Wednesday, September 3, 2014, at Glenwoodie Golf Course in Glenwood after a hybrid heart procedure.
On July 10, 2014, Cooper underwent an all-in-one hybrid heart procedure; robotic heart coronary bypass surgery and interventional angioplasty/stent placement, on the the same day in the same room, and checked out of the hospital two days later.
Cooper was back on the golf course 12 days after the operation. His cardiac surgeon is Husam Balkhy, MD, and his internventional cardiologist is Sandeep Nathan, MS........Complete Article
3D Systems Introduces New Simbionix Robotics Training Platform
September 18, 2014
New Simbionix RobotiX Mentor™ is the only hands-on, complete procedural training simulator for robotic surgery skills ---- Company demonstrates new module at European Association of Urology (EAU) Robotic Urology Section (ERUS)
Robotic-assisted minimally invasive surgery represents a growing portion of overall surgical volume, and the increased demand means the needs for training for robotic surgery has increased, and it is expected that this trend will continue in the coming years.
The RobotiX Mentor cross-specialty robotic surgery training system meets these needs with its advanced simulator platform with realistic training modules.
The simulator is integrated into 3DS' online curricula management system, MentorLearn™, to help programs incorporate the simulator and unique procedure modules into the robotic curriculum. The MentorLearn system provides technical skills reporting and assessment and customization of curriculum, benchmarks and scores. Studies suggest that training within a proficiency-based virtual reality curriculum may reduce errors during real surgical procedures, making the patient the ultimate benefactor.
In addition, 3DS plans to incorporate its Bespoke Modeling™, cloud-based, easy-to-use, affordable 3D modeling service, into its Simbionix simulators. When used in conjunction with Simbionix technology, Bespoke Modeling gives medical professionals the power to communicate more effectively and improve medical learning and training.......complete article
Showing the Flex® Retractor, which is uniquely designed for robotic and laser microsurgery procedures. It is fully adjustable for optimal exposure in more patients; with its low profile and lightweight design, it is easy to handle and position. (Insert) Only the Flex® Retractor enables axial rotation of blade for unprecedented exposure of the base of tongue. (Photo: Business Wire)
Medrobotics Announces Launch of the Flex®Retractor
September 18, 2014 Uniquely Adjustable Retractor Brings Exceptional Surgical Exposure and Efficiency to Transoral Robotic and Laser Microsurgery Procedures Medrobotics Corp., a surgical products company with core competencies in medical robotics, today announced the market release of its Flex Retractor® in the U.S. and Europe. The Flex® Retractor is lightweight and easy to handle and position. It has been designed to facilitate exceptional exposure in advanced transoral surgeries, including robotic and laser microsurgery procedures. Medrobotics has incorporated an industry first axial tongue blade rotation capability, which allows surgeons to create unprecedented exposure in certain procedures involving the base of tongue. The Flex® Retractor is the latest example of innovative and yet affordable technology for minimally invasive surgery from Medrobotics, the manufacturer of the Flex® System. Minimally invasive surgery has demonstrated advantages for patients and providers compared to traditional open procedures, decreasing hospital stays and recovery times.
The Flex® System was designed to provide an affordable, easy-to-use computer-assisted surgical platform for hospitals and surgeons seeking to provide minimally-invasive treatment options to the broadest number of patients.
Medrobotics received the CE mark for the Flex® Retractor which permits distribution in the European Union. The Company has met all applicable FDA requirements to distribute the Flex® Retractor in the U.S. where it is a class I device and exempt from FDA’s premarket notification process.......read complete article
Health Alert: Robotic Surgery
September 17, 2014. Source:
A teenage boy was the first in the world to have robotic surgery for a procedure to reduce pain that feels as bad as a kidney stone.
Brian Fogel sat down with a urology team at Children's Hospital Wednesday. Video of his surgery shows a robotic procedure called a pyeloplasty. It corrects a blockage in urine between the kidney and the bladder that causes severe pain........Click here to watch VIDEO
Global surgical snake robots market poised to achieve significant growth
September 16, 2014
Radiant Insights Has Announced The latest Addition Of "Snake Robots Market Trends & Forecasts To 2019" Market Research Report To Their Database
WinterGreen Research announces that it has published a new study Snake Robots: Market Shares, Strategy, and Forecasts, Worldwide, 2013 to 2019. The 2013 study has 272 pages, 142 tables and figures. Worldwide snake robot markets are poised to achieve significant growth as the next generation units provide an access and movement mechanism that is unique and useful.
Snake robots used for small space access, inside airplane wing access, first responder tasks, and surgery: They are used for going where nothing else can go. Snake robots provide systems that significantly improve traditional open surgery by consolidating the number of minimally invasive access ports to one and eliminating open surgery.Browse Full Report With TOC @ radiantinsights.com/research/snake-robots-market#tabs-1
Robotic assisted surgery ushering in new era in heart surgery
September 10, 2014
Robot-Assisted surgery is ushering in a new era in heart surgery by offering patients better outcome and a greater quality of life, a senior surgeon in the Chennai-based Apollo Hospitals today said.
Traditional open heart surgery involved making a big incision and resulted in prolonged pain and recovery over many months, whereas in robot-assisted surgery, instead of cutting the breast-bone (sternum), the surgeon makes a smaller incision between the rib-space and performs the surgery, Dr Ravi Kumar told reporters here today.
This translates to better patient experience involving less blood loss, less pain, less infection, less scarring, faster recovery and early return to normal activities (within four to five days, as against over 15 days in traditional one), he said.
Catheter-based operations for valvular heart diseases, coronary stents and robotic systems in the field of oncosurgery are topics that will be discussed at the upcoming MEDICA 2014 trade fair's MEDICA EDUCATION CONFERENCE — the scientific and interdisciplinary advanced training event — on November 13th in Dusseldorf, Germany.
The main focus of the conference will be telemedicine and robotics. The discussions at the conference may include how treatment of a patient can be faster, more reliable and more cost-effective with new information technologies.
Among the events will be a plenary informational event — "Modern Surgery Robotics using the DLR Micro System by Way of Example," — a cardiology seminar — "Coronary Heart Disease-Always Just Catheters," — and an oncology discussion forum — "Robotics in Tumor Surgery."
In the field of cardiology, the most high-tech products are balloon catheters, coated and biologically degradable coronary stents, synthetic cardiac valves and robotic systems........read more
A back surgeon looks at a 3D model of a patient's spinal column in preparation for surgery using the Mazor Renaissance system (Photo credit: Courtesy)
Chinese back patients get pain relief with Israeli tech
September 9, 2014
Mazor Robotics brings spine surgery system to the world’s most populous country after approval by health officials
Chinese patients facing tricky, dangerous back surgery can benefit now from the skills of Mazor Robotics, which develops technology to help surgeons more accurately and securely perform spine surgery. The China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) has just approved the company’s Renaissance 3D imaging robotic surgery system, clearing the way for Renaissance to be installed in hundreds of hospitals in China.
China is just the latest country where Mazor has made an impact. It was approved by the FDA in the United States over three years ago, and dozens of the systems are installed in North America, Turkey, India, and Southeast Asia. The Caesarea-based company went public in the US about a year ago, and it’s traded on NASDAQ. According to Mazor, its spine surgery-assisting technology has been used in over 4,000 procedures worldwide. The company’s entry into the Chinese market will, Mazor said, significantly increase the number of customers deploying its technology......continue reading
Post-operative pain similar in robotic and conventional laparoscopy for gynecologic procedures
September 7, 2014
Robotic-assisted laparoscopic gynecologic surgery has become increasingly popular. The technique can be used to treat various gynecologic conditions, including cervical and uterine cancer, endometriosis, pelvic organ prolapse and uterine fibroids.
Robotic operations permit three-dimensional visualization and improved dexterity by incorporating a “wrist” component, which straight stick laparoscopy tools lack. Purportedly, as compared to conventional laparoscopy, robotic-assisted surgery results in shorter hospitalization and recovery times and decreased post-operative pain.
While the theoretical benefits of the robotic approach are many, the technology is expensive and several studies have not shown benefits in duration of hospitalization or recovery, pain or risk of complications. The present work is the first to study pain and its impact on quality of life across different gynecologic surgeries.
The authors found no differences in pain or analgesic use between the robotic and conventional arms, but detected more post-operative problems with sleep among patients in the robotic group.......read more
KidsArm with a biopsy tool attached. Credit MDA and CIGITI
Space Robot Arm Tech Could Help Surgeons Operate on Kids
September 2, 2014
The technology powering robotic arms in space could be used to perform minor surgeries for children on Earth.
MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates (MDA) — the manufacturer of the robotic arms Canadarm and Canadarm2 — is now part of a project called KidsArm. The effort aims to use a mini-arm to automate some tasks during pediatric surgery.
Both space robotic arms were used to build the International Space Station. While Canadarm now only exists in space as a modified boom, Canadarm2 is still used today to capture the commercial Dragon and Cygnus cargo spacecraft visiting the station, and to assist astronauts during spacewalks, among other tasks.
"Our tests indicate we can operate on tiny structures such as blood vessels without damaging them," said Thomas Looi, the program director for the Centre for Image-Guided Innovation and Therapeutic Intervention at the Hospital for Sick Kids (SickKids) in Toronto, said in a statement.
"The goal of the robotic arm is to help doctors perform certain procedures many times faster than if they were only using their hands, and with increased accuracy," Looi added. "Some of this would be done autonomously. While we are not quite there yet, KidsArm is able to perform three to five suture points autonomously.
"KidsArm includes a vision-based system that works like robotic eyes, allowing guiding a small surgical arm to be guided to the spot it needs to reach in order to do its work. To figure out where to suture, KidsArm uses a stereo camera that creates a "3D point cloud" of spots to guide the tool tip into the zone.....read more
Nothing wrong with using robotics for prostate surgery
Regarding the Aug. 26 Viewpoint, "Beware robotics in cancer care":
Americans have more ways available to manage prostate cancer than ever before. In just the past two years, four medications and four diagnostic tests for prostate cancer have become newly available. A variety of surgical and radiation treatments are employed to manage or cure prostate cancer. Still, prostate cancer patients remain a complex group.
Unfortunately, efforts in your recent opinion piece citing controversial issues regarding prostate cancer are completely unsubstantiated.
It's well known that some prostate cancers don't require treatment. For this reason, leading urology associations recommend — and most urologists employ — risk stratification tools to guide treatment of the aggressive cancer and monitoring of the non-aggressive disease. There is 30 years' worth of extensive research demonstrating that prostate cancer surgery — both open and robotic — is effective and safe. I am not aware of any research demonstrating that non-aggressive cancers are being removed at an increased rate due to robotic surgery.
People should consider whether price affects treatment recommendations. For example, Medicare pays a surgeon $1,800 to remove a prostate. Yet, some doctors will charge a patient $25,000 out of pocket for HIFU — an unproven prostate cancer treatment rejected this year by the FDA for being neither effective nor even safe enough to use in the United States.
The robot is simply a tool that is used in the operating room. Some surgeons, like me, prefer the robot and some simply a scalpel. The training, experience, judgment and compassion of the surgeon are far more important than his selection of hardware.
How will robotic surgery help Indians failed by basic healthcare in the country?
How will robotic surgery help Indians failed by basic healthcare in the country?
September 2, 2014
Be it life expectancy or infant mortality, Indian healthcare ranks way below that in other BRICs nations like China and Brazil, even Bangladesh. And yet India is a pioneer in robotic surgery.
Many of India's billion-plus people struggle with a public healthcare system that is overburdened in cities and virtually nonexistent in villages.
Be it life expectancy, or infant mortality, Indian healthcare ranks way below many other countries, such as China, Brazil, Sri Lanka and even Bangladesh.Many people are unable to access - or cannot afford - modern healthcare services.
So it's perhaps ironic that at the other end of the spectrum robotic surgery is gaining popularity in India, and has even broken new ground.
One or two small holes
Early one morning, at the in New Delhi, we meet 19-year-old Shivani Kumari, as she is wheeled into the operation theatre for the removal of her thymus gland.
Because of its central location in the upper body - and its proximity to the heart - the thymus presents specific challenges for surgery.But Shivani Kumari looks happy and knows what's in store.
"I feel ok and not at all nervous," Kumari says. "I have heard about this technique and it [leaves no scar]. I will be going through only one or two small incisions, and that too during anesthetic period, and it will be painless. Nobody wants to make a big scar on his or her body."
Dr Arvind Kumar, director of the Institute of Robotic Surgery sits at a special console, which provides a high resolution three-dimensional image of Shivani's thymus gland.
He begins the operation after Shivani is administered anesthesia.
He controls the robot by maneuvering levers, pedals and buttons on the console with his arms, feet, fingers and wrists.
Kumar is the first surgeon to do robotic chest surgery in India. His center handles over 400 major chest cases every year......read more
The master manipulator of a DaVinci surgical robot. Credit Akiko Nabeshima
Brainy, Yes, but Far From Handy
September 1, 2014
Building a Robot With Human Touch
STANFORD, Calif. — In factories and warehouses, robots routinely outdo humans in strength and precision. Artificial intelligence software can drive cars, beat grandmasters at chess and leave “Jeopardy!” champions in the dust.But machines still lack a critical element that will keep them from eclipsing most human capabilities anytime soon: a well-developed sense of touch.
Consider Dr. Nikolas Blevins, a head and neck surgeon at Stanford Health Care who routinely performs ear operations requiring that he shave away bone deftly enough to leave an inner surface as thin as the membrane in an eggshell.
Dr. Blevins is collaborating with the roboticists J. Kenneth Salisbury and Sonny Chan on designing software that will make it possible to rehearse these operations before performing them. The program blends X-ray and magnetic resonance imaging data to create a vivid three-dimensional model of the inner ear, allowing the surgeon to practice drilling away bone, to take a visual tour of the patient’s skull and to virtually “feel” subtle differences in cartilage, bone and soft tissue. Yet no matter how thorough or refined, the software provides only the roughest approximation of Dr. Blevins’s sensitive touch.........
Much research is focusing on vision and its role in touch. The newest da Vinci Xi, a surgery system developed by Intuitive Surgical Inc., uses high-resolution 3-D cameras to enable doctors to perform delicate operations remotely, manipulating tiny surgical instruments. The company focused on giving surgeons better vision, because the necessary touch for operating on soft tissue like organs is still beyond the capability of haptics technology.
Curt Salisbury, a principal research engineer at SRI International, a nonprofit research institute, said that while surgeons could rely on visual cues provided by soft tissues to understand the forces exerted by their tools, there were times when vision alone would not suffice.
“Haptic feedback is critical when you don’t have good visual access,” he said........continue reading
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