For years, the world of medicine has steadily advanced the art of robot-assisted surgeries, allowing surgeons to improve their technique within the operating room.
Now, researchers in the United States claim that a robot has successfully performed keyhole surgery on pigs without the assistance of a person. Furthermore, the robot surgeon generated “much superior” results than humans, according to the researchers.
The Smart Tissue Autonomous Robot (Star) performed laparoscopic surgery on four pigs to connect two ends of an intestine. The robot excelled at the procedure, which demands a high level of precision and repetitive movements, according to a research published in Science Robotics.
According to Axel Krieger of Johns Hopkins University, this was the first time a robot performed laparoscopic surgery without the assistance of a human.
“Our findings suggest that we can automate one of the most complicated and sensitive surgical tasks: reconnection of two ends of an intestine,” he stated. “The Star did the treatment on four animals, and the outcomes were substantially better than humans conducting the identical procedure.”
Connecting two ends of an intestine is a difficult gastrointestinal surgery technique that requires a surgeon to apply stitches – or sutures – with high accuracy and consistency. Even a tiny hand tremor or a missed stitch might cause a leak, which can lead to catastrophic consequences.