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Two new retroviruses—transmitted from animals—identified

cancer patients," said Bert O'Malley, Jr., MD, Chair of PENN's Department of Otorhinolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery. "We believe this technology will have a dramatic impact on the ability to completely remove tumors while preserving speech, swallowing, and other key quality of life issues."

In the first study, researchers used the daVinci Robot and "operated" on a mannequin. They found that, by applying simple instruments and retractors commonly used for tonsillectomy, the robotically controlled camera and instruments could be inserted through the mouth into the throat and voice box. The surgeons were able to manipulate different elements in the voice box with a high degree of dexterity that would be tremendously difficult using conventional instruments. They were also able to suture and tie knots deep in the mannequin's throat with relative ease ?a task exceptionally challenging without the aid of robotic technology.

In the second study, the surgeons performed a variety of surgical procedures on a human cadaver. They concluded that robotic surgery may shorten operating time and allow for minimally invasive treatment of more cancer patients.

The self-contained daVinci robotic system has three main components: a mechanical robot with three multi-jointed arms; a computer command center several feet from the patient, where the doctor sits, and a 3-D computer monitor similar to a "viewfinder" that affords a magnified view of the surgical site inside the patient. Equipped with a special, double-telescopic endoscope, the viewfinder allows surgeons to see the surgical site more closely than human vision allows, and to work at a smaller scale of detail than conventional surgery permits. Unlike other endoscopic systems now in use, which afford reverse-image views that require counter-intuitive movements by surgeons (whereby the surgeon must move his hand to the left in order to move the mechanical device to the right), the daVinci technology afford
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