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Old 10-21-2010, 11:00 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Robot Surgeons

First all-robot surgery performed at McGill University -- Engadget

A team of surgeons at McGill University, including the da Vinci robo-surgeon and a robot anesthesiologist named, of all things, McSleepy, recently removed some dude's prostate during what is being billed as the world's first all-robotic surgery. The device transmits hi-def 3D images to a nearby workstation, where it is controlled by surgeons "with a precision that cannot be provided by humans alone," according to MUHC urologist-in-chief Dr. A. Aprikian. Of course, the robots are being kept on a tight leash by their human operators, with McGill's Dr. Thomas Hemmerling pointing out that "[r]obots will not replace doctors but help them to perform to the highest standards." Just tell that to all the other medical robots we've seen in this space, eh, doc? We've heard they have plans. Bad plans.
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Old 10-21-2010, 07:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Robots cuttin' you open

I just read that article and came over to the forums to see if it'd been written about yet. Good lord.

And yeah right, tight leash. Eventually it'll get to the point where robots don't help people perform better, they just plain perform better than people. Then no one's in the room while the robot is operating on you. And we're leaving them free to implant us with all kinds of shit!
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Old 10-23-2010, 12:04 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I've worked with the da Vinci before and it is pretty damn cool (we sell an accessory for it). I don't think of it as a bad robot because it doesn't do anything on its own and it doesn't think for itself. It takes the hand motion from a surgeon, scales it down (or up I guess) and moves the laparoscopic instruments accordingly. It also gives the surgeon a 3rd hand to work with. You can retract something with the 3rd instrument, freeze it in place and then toggle back to the main two instruments. Well, it does a lot more than that, but that is the general idea.

I'll still keep the Windex around, but I'm not too worried about the da Vinci taking over the world. The console where the surgeon sits is only like 15 or 20 feet away from the operating table.

This is the best demonstration I know of (that doesn't have any blood and guts in it). It was done 3 years ago so it was a first generation SD unit. The display has gotten a lot fancier. The pay off it at the end. If your ADD won't let you watch the whole minute 14 seconds, at least watch the last 20 seconds or so.

And this is a terrible video showing off the capabilities of the da Vinci system. I'm not sure what they were thinking. A for effort I guess...

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Old 10-23-2010, 02:21 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I actually do think it's pretty neat. I was being overdramatic. The original article I read was kind of sensationalized, actually - the headline was about the first all-robot surgery... But the doctor still has to be there and command the robot, and I'm sure the hospital wouldn't ever risk the liability of not having other personnel in the room during the surgery. I do think that this accuracy gives us the potential to develop technology that could one day combine with sensors and imaging and perform surgeries unguided. Not sure what they'd do with that, though.
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Old 10-23-2010, 02:34 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I thought they already did this stuff for brain surgery, etc.
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Old 02-14-2011, 05:51 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Robot Removes Patient's Throat Cancer

LONDON, Ont. - A 72-year-old retired homebuilder from Sarnia, Ont., is the first Canadian to have throat cancer removed by a robot.

Gildard Legere said Monday he feels fine two months after the operation. The procedure eliminates the need for major throat and neck incisions, a feeding tube and protracted radiation or chemotherapy.
I think this is pretty fitting, as well as interesting.

Rest of story:
Robot removes patient's throat cancer | Health & Fitness | Life | Toronto Sun
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