New robotic surgeon allows remote thrombosis surgery

(ORDO NEWS) — A new robotic system developed by scientists at MIT ensures that patients with blood clots are treated quickly and can be rescued, even if a doctor is not around.

The robot surgeon can now perform very complex vascular operations. It will not replace a doctor, because it is the specialist who controls the movements of the unit

During this operation, the surgeon passes a thin wire through one of the blood vessels in the patient’s brain to a blood clot.

Guided by X-ray imaging, he then either physically ruptures part of the clot with a probe or delivers drugs to dissolve it.

It is very important that the procedure be carried out as quickly as possible before oxygen starvation causes permanent brain damage.

Unfortunately, if the patient is too far from the hospital where the neurosurgeon is based, it is not possible to get him to that hospital in time.

How to remove a blood clot with a robot

This is where an experimental robotic system should help. It includes an articulated arm with a magnet on the end that sits next to the head of a patient lying on an operating table at a local hospital.

It also has a motorized linear drive that pushes or pulls the probe with a magnetically sensitive tip.

The surgeon, who is in a larger hospital, uses a mouse to advance and retract the wire into the blood vessel, and a joystick to move his hand and rotate the magnet.

The latter allows the doctor to remotely control the wire from outside the patient’s body, since the direction and force of attraction of the magnet to the wire change by changing its position.

In tests conducted on a transparent scale model of the brain’s blood vessels, neurosurgeons learned how to use the system to guide a wire to the right place with just an hour of training.

Perhaps in the future such a system will become ubiquitous and we will be able to significantly reduce mortality from thrombosis.

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