"The future of surgery is not about blood and guts; the future of surgery is about bits and bytes.”
/Dr. Richard Satava/

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Retro: the first trans-Atlantic surgery

We have already covered the Lindbergh operation with a Zeus robot back in time, but there is some space for nostalgia around new year. Recently, I came across the press release of the world's first trans-Atlantic telesurgery: “OPERATION LINDBERGH - The Surgical Act Crosses the Atlantic!" It provided some new details about the event and the preceding experiments, but more interestingly, it gave a list of Future Challenges that are still very much applicable after 12 years: 

"This technological sea change in the world of surgery ushers in a host of possible future developments:
  • To start with, it makes possible collaborative telesurgery, one of the most positive concrete applications of "globalization".
  • It also revolutionizes the concept of surgical training, since a sort of "umbilical cord" could be created between a young surgeon and more experienced teacher-surgeons.
  • It would also make it possible for developing nations to benefit from the expertise of world-renowned surgeons in order to enhance care in their country.
  • This breakthrough also makes it possible to imagine future surgical procedures being done in space.
  • Finally, by combining virtual reality techniques with pre-operatory simulations, this could lead to an entirely new era of semi-automated or even automated telesurgery."
You can learn more about the Lindbergh Operation on WebSurge.
Image credit: IRCAD

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