Designers working on a new generation of medical equipment that robotic surgery could soon be applied on beating human hearts.
According to German national aeronautics and space research centre DLR, the surgeon would see a static heart on a 3D screen and the robots would attune themselves to the heart’s movement.
Conventional minimally invasive surgery (MIS) is performed through small incisions in the patient’s skin, preserving healthy tissue. The surgeon works with long slender instruments, and is separated from the operation area. This arrangement challenges the surgeon’s skills due to lost hand-eye-coordination and missing direct manual contact to the operation area. Therefore, many sophisticated procedures still cannot be performed minimally invasive.
“Our ultimate ambition is robot supported surgery on the beating heart. The application of the heart-lung machine would become obsolete for a whole variety of procedures that way. Collaterally, the very traumatizing effects of the heart-lung machine on the patient could be avoided.”