Robot heart surgery to be done by remote control
28th Apr 2010 | 23:01
Pioneering surgery at Leicester hospital
A doctor will perform heart surgery remotely using a robot arm, in a pioneering operation conducted at Glenfield Hospital Leicester.
Dr Andre Ng, Senior Lecturer in Cardiovascular Sciences at the University of Leicester and Consultant Cardiologist and Electrophysiologist, Glenfield Hospital, University Hospitals of Leicester, and quite possibly a man who needs a very large business card, is the first person to carry out an operation remotely on patients using this system.
The Catheter Robotics Remote Catheter Manipulations System will be used for the first time in a heart rhythm treatment procedure, with a robotic arm being manipulated by Dr Ng during the operation.
The surgery needs regular X-rays to be taken, which traditionally means a cumbersome lead apron for the doctor - something that can be avoided with this new technology.
Dr Ng said: "The new Robotic procedure is an important step forward because, while some procedures are straightforward, others can take several hours.
"Because X-rays are used to allow the doctor to monitor what is going on inside the patient, it means that doctors standing close to the patient wear radiation shields such as lead aprons which are burdensome.
"Protracted procedures can lead to clinician fatigue and high cumulative radiation exposure."
"The benefit of the Robotics system to the patient is that movement of the catheter could be done with great precision," he added.
"It is anticipated that further developments of the system may allow complex procedures to be made more streamlined."
Can't be that hard – not like it's brain surgery…