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Singapore expertise pioneers quick and scarless surgery
Date:7/5/2011

Patients with gastric tumours in their stomach will no longer have to suffer an eight-hour long surgery, but instead can look forward to a short day surgery which last a few minutes to an hour without the need for hospitalisation.

This new procedure the world's first flexible endoscopy robotic surgery in the stomach was successfully performed on patients suffering from gastric tumours in India.

The procedure was performed on a total of three patients, one patient per day from 1 to 3 July.

A flexible endoscope (small tube inserted in intestinal tracts) which had small robotic arms, was inserted through the patient's mouth to the stomach, while the surgeon monitored it on a computer screen. Using joystick and buttons to control the robotic arms, the surgeon then removed the cancerous tumour and the patient went home after the operation.

This groundbreaking technology was developed by Associate Professor Louis Phee, Head of the Division of Mechatronics and Design, School of Mechanical and Aerospace at Nanyang Technological University and Professor Ho Khek Yu Lawrence, Senior Consultant at the Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, National University Hospital, after six years of research.

This system, named MASTER (Master And Slave Transluminal Endoscopic Robot) is entirely designed and built from scratch in NTU.

Current robotic keyhole surgeries still require a small cut at the stomach area to enable a rigid robotic endoscope to enter and do the surgery. This new flexible robotic endoscope does not require any external incision, and enters through the mouth instead.

By controlling an external console, the surgeon is able to make the robot perform intricate surgical procedures. For the surgeries done in India, the robot is used to perform Endoscopic Submucosal Dissection (ESD): the delicate removal of a tumour embedded in the stomach wall without puncturing the latter.

Without this robotic system, a patient is l
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Contact: Lester Kok
lesterkok@ntu.edu.sg
659-741-5593
Nanyang Technological University
Source:Eurekalert

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