General, Research, Technology

Robotic surgeon capable of stitching blood vessels

Once upon a time, surgical operations were carried outusing rude tools and often ended in the death of the patient. Today, surgery has stepped far forward and doctors are even able to carry out brain surgery to treat alcoholism. However, no one is safe from the fact that the surgeon's hands can inadvertently twitch and damage a person, therefore manufacturers of medical equipment are developing special robots that make the most precise movements. For example, recently in the scientific journal Nature Communications, a description was published of a MUSA robot surgeon who can stitch blood vessels up to 0.3 millimeters in diameter. The robot has already proved its efficiency by performing surgical operations involving real people.

MUSE robot created by Dutch company MicroSure

According to the authors of a scientific article, the MUSA robotdeveloped by the Dutch company MicroSure for the so-called reconstructive microsurgery. Under this term, it is customary to understand the totality of surgical operations to restore lost tissue. Conducting this kind of surgery can be done by ordinary doctors, but this requires a lot of experience and strength. In addition, human labor is very expensive, and by providing work on tissue repair to robots, the cost of operations can be significantly reduced. Judging by the test results, the MUSA robotic system copes with the tasks no worse than experienced surgeons.

See also: Are robotic surgeons so safe?

Surgery robot

The performance of the MUSA surgeon was tested inoperations on 20 volunteers. All of them were women suffering from breast cancer, which subsequently caused the development of lymphostasis. This term is used by doctors to refer to the accumulation of fluid in the intercellular space, the cause of which is a violation of the lymphatic current.

Lymph - It is a clear fluid that flows through the lymphatic vessels and plays an important role in the metabolism and purification of cells and tissues of the body from harmful substances.

For the treatment of lymphostasis, as a rule,surgical operation, which involves the union of blood vessels and capillaries. It is noteworthy that the more small vessels the surgeons manage to recover, the healthier the person becomes. The MUSE robot performs this task by copying the movements of a real surgeon in several times reduced scale. At the same time, computer algorithms capture the trembling hands of the managing surgeon and give the robot commands only to perform clear movements. Thus, the robot reduces the likelihood of a medical error and increases the chances of a successful operation.

MUSA robot can stitch vessels up to 0.3 millimeters in diameter

3.5 months after the operation,Researchers compared the speed and quality of MUSE's work with the results of real surgeons. According to them, the quality of the seams made by robots was no worse than if they were made by human hands. Only now, the robot performed the operation on average 2 hours, while usually it takes about 1.5 hours. But the developers believe that such a big difference in working time is due to the fact that people who control the robot are not yet used to working with the system. So in the future, the implementation of such operations can be carried out much more accurately and faster. But it’s not known whether the cost of surgical interventions will decrease, because people are still involved in the business and the system does not know how to work independently.