One of the world's first microsurgical operations using robots was performed in Zurich in August: In a five-hour operation, a patient with lymphoedema was given the finest connections between lymph vessels and veins.
The Symani robot used enables operations that have not been feasible until now. The method is also more comfortable for the person performing the operation, as the procedure can be performed while seated and remotely controlled.
Operations on blood and lymph vessels or nerves with a diameter of less than 0.8 millimetres could in principle be performed just as well by hand, explains Nicole Lindenblatt, who realised the operation. But with the robot, one can penetrate deeper and operate on even finer vessels.
30 times larger and in 3D
The robot is controlled entirely by the surgeon. She sits on a chair and holds two tweezers in her hand. The movements she makes are transmitted to the microinstruments. The surgical area is magnified up to 30 times on a screen by means of a camera. Through special glasses, the surgeons additionally see the image in 3D.
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