Robotic Technology to Help Heart Surgeons
COLUMBUS, Ohio, July 19 -- Heart surgeons in the US are getting ready to use computer-enhanced robotic technology in bypass surgery. The technique, recently begun in Europe, may be used on the first American patient as early as this summer. Ohio State University is the first of a small group of medical centers expected to begin using the equipment in the next year.
The venture joins OSU physicians and Intuitive Surgery, Inc., manufacturer of the da Vinci Computer-Enhanced Surgical System. OSU expects to pay $1 million for the equipment and to serve as the site of the first US Food and Drug Administration-approved American clinical trial using this technology.
The system combines computer-enhanced visualization and advanced articulated robotic arms. The surgeon controls the small robotic arms and their instruments through a computer console. Video cameras mounted in a third arm provide a three-dimensional magnified view of the surgical site. In essence, the physician performs virtual surgery and the robotic arms mimic precisely each of the surgeon's movements inside the actual patient.
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