Is your surgeon made of steel?

December 21, 2007

No, I am not talking about his personality. Surgeons are renowned for being a bit aloof but the ultimate model made an appearance performing radical tonsillectomies on 27 patients with squamous- cell carcinomas of the tonsil. This new model is not tall dark and handsome, but is a four armed robot that was used in a pilot study that has been reported in the December issue of Archives of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery.

This computerised surgeon is not likely to turn up in your operating theatre any day soon, and is in fact operated from a computer console by a real surgeon, but is it a sign of things to come? Reporting on the operations, Dr Weinstein who undertook the trial said that using robots had definite advantages and is looking for funding to conduct a much larger trial. Let’s face it robots can’t have a worse bedside manner than some surgeons I have encountered.


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