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Surgeons get help by new robotic
hands; © SXC
The robotic technology predicts the movement of the heart as it beats, enabling the surgical tools to move in concert with each beat. It means that the surgeon can perform a procedure as if the heart was stationary. This development could be important for patients who require less invasive surgical heart procedures, where stopping the heart from beating would cause unnecessary risk.
“This three-dimensional computerised model tracks the motion of the heart's surface as it beats”, stresses lead author Philippe Poignet. In addition to the heart, this model also accounts for the movement of a patient's chest wall during breathing.
The new approach relies on a mathematical representation of the heart's surface as it moves in three dimensions during pumping. Researchers have made many attempts to use computer modelling to account for heart and breathing motion. However, previous efforts have relied on 2D imaging combined with other steps, making them to slow to provide instantaneous feedback during an operation. This new 3D imaging predicts the heart movements in a single step, making it faster in real-life surgical environments.
Machines prevent the surgeons from using their sense of touch and coordination to adjust for rapidly changing environments. This new computer-generated model makes it possible for the surgeon to focus on suturing or cutting without having to adjust for the moving surface.
MEDICA.de; Source: SAGE Publications UK