For the first time in history, a robot called PRECEYES participated in an operation. The task was to dissect a specific membrane in the macula, a yellow spot of patients with macular degeneration. Results from six patients, operated on by robots, were compared with six others operated on by humans, but in terms of speed, you might be surprised that man won. Humans 1.5 minutes against robots 5.
ROBOT-SURGEON PERFORMED A PARTIAL OPERATION ON THE RETINA
The retina, as you know, can malfunction. For the first time in history, a robot participated in an operation of this nature. The system is called PRECEYES, and it does not, of course, wear a white coat or work alone.
It’s an extension of the eyes and hands of the surgeon, but in some ways more intriguing. Any surgery requires precision, but microsurgery of the eye – absolute accuracy.
In this case, we are talking about the impact of macular degeneration, responsible for loss of central vision and the disappearance of small, subtle details.
A team of Oxford specialists under the direction of Robert McLaren led patients through the dissection of a specific membrane in the macula, a yellow spot. Its degeneration creates the aforementioned problems. Results from six patients, operated on by robots, were compared with six others operated on by humans.
The number of micro-traumas was estimated, which cannot be avoided in retinal operations, and it’s clear that less is better. In this area, there wasn’t much difference between the two groups. But in terms of speed, you might be surprised that man won. Humans took about 1.5 minutes, while robots took 5.
RETINA OR NOT, WHY WERE ROBOTS SLOWER?
Let’s not forget that this was the first robot operation in the world and their times will steadily decrease. Accuracy and safety will grow. Robots have the potential for growth, and there are no human factors like stress, unintentional mistakes, or extraneous thoughts about the health care system.
This was all the first stage. In the second, robots injected patients with a drug to stop bleeding. Here, everything was successful.
“‘This is a huge leap forward for delicate and technically difficult surgery, which in time should significantly improve the quality and safety of this kind of operation,” says Robert McLaren.
Photo by Piron Guillaumeon Unsplash