Robot-assisted microsurgery: a feasibility study in the rat.
Le Roux PD, Das H, Esquenazi S, Kelly PJ.
Department of Neurosurgery, New York University Medical Center, New York, USA. LEROUX@UPHS.upenn.edu
OBJECTIVE: Telerobotic surgery is a novel technology that can improve a surgeon's manual dexterity as well as the results achieved with microsurgical procedures. METHODS: A prototype Robot-Assisted MicroSurgery (RAMS) microdexterity enhancement system developed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and MicroDexterity Systems, Inc., was tested in 10 rats. Carotid arteriotomies were created and closed using either the RAMS system or conventional microsurgical techniques. The time required, the technical quality (vessel patency and suture line integrity), the error rate, and subjective difficulty were compared. RESULTS: All procedures were successfully completed using the RAMS system to manipulate the vessel but not to hold the needle or place the sutures. The precision, technical quality, and error rate of telerobotic surgery were similar to those of conventional techniques. However, the use of the RAMS system was associated with a twofold increase in the length of the procedure. CONCLUSION: Surgery using a microdexterity enhancement system, or RAMS prototype, is feasible. With further development, such as a stereotelevisualization and haptic feedback system, this system could be used for telerobotic surgery in neurosurgical practice.
PMID: 11270549 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]