This novel procedure also opens up new possibilities for surgery: the robot is able to cut a small hole in the stomach wall to get access to other organs like the liver, kidney, and pancreas to perform intricate surgery. After the surgery is done, it slides back into the stomach, mends the hole in the stomach wall and exits out of the mouth again. It may come a time when a patient goes for surgery and all he or she needs do is open their mouth.
Apart from speeding up the operation process and leaving no scars, this robotic procedure is also significantly cheaper than normal surgery thanks to its precision, dexterity and manoeuvrability. The robotic arms, which is up to six milimeters in diameter, has the capacity to "feel" how hard or soft the delicate tissues of the stomach and intestines are, so doctors at the console can vary the pressure accordingly. The combined diameter of both arms is up to 16 mm.
In future, it may be possible for such a surgical system to be controlled remotely from another part of the world.
To carry out the experiments on the device's effectiveness and efficiency, a multi centre experiment was decided as collaborators from Hong Kong and Germany have shown keen interests. Since the Asian Institute of Gastroenterology (AIG) was the first to get the relevant approvals for human trials and patients were easily available there, they were the first centre to carry out the operation.
AIG is one of Asia's largest outpatient centres doing therapeutic endoscopy, and has the credit of doing the most ERCP (Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography) procedures in the word.
In addition, Dr Nageshwar Reddy, chairman and chief gastroenterology at AIG, is one of the best gastroenterologists in the world and is known for his innovatio
|Contact: Lester Kok|
Nanyang Technological University