Steady hands — a robot just helped doctors perform a novel eye surgery

Why it issues to you

A robotic’s cautious management of a needle has allowed docs to utterly take away the clot in retinal vein thrombosis for the primary time.

Ommetaphobics, look away. If the thought of one thing touching your eye makes you a bit queasy, you definitely gained’t like a medical innovation involving a robot, a needle, and your retinal vein. All the identical, it’s an essential improvement within the area of ophthalmology.

Belgian eye surgeons turned the primary to make use of a surgical robotic to function on a affected person with retinal vein occlusion this week, with the robotic using a very minuscule needle to do its work. Measuring barely zero.03 millimeters, the needle was used to inject a clot-dissolving drug into the affected person’s retinal vein. Each the robotic and the needle have been made particularly for the surgical procedure.

If the proof is within the pudding, think about this operation dessert. The method proved that it’s certainly attainable to dissolve a blood clot instantly from the retinal vein — that’s, when you have a robotic that will help you. This might result in new remedies for retinal vein occlusion, which if left untreated, can result in blindness. At present, remedy for the dysfunction requires month-to-month injections within the eye, and whereas this reduces the consequences of the blood clot, it doesn’t utterly take away the clot. This new injection technique, nevertheless, modifications the sport.

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The introduction of robots to the remedy has allowed for drugs to go the place it has by no means gone earlier than. Even the steadiest of human arms wouldn’t have the ability to maintain such a small needle nonetheless for an prolonged time period. A robotic, nevertheless, can. Whereas a surgeon is chargeable for guiding the hair-skinny needle into the vein, the robotic eliminates any vibrations, which will increase precision by an element of 10. As soon as the retinal vein has been reached, the physician can stabilize each the needle and the attention, permitting for the protected injection of the thrombolytic drug.

Not solely is that this remedy the primary to really tackle the issue at its core, it’s additionally considerably extra reasonably priced than earlier options. Whereas present remedies can value tens of hundreds of dollars, ” … you’re solely treating the uncomfortable side effects and that there’s little extra you are able to do than keep away from decreasing eyesight,” stated Professor Peter Stalmans, eye surgeon at College Hospitals Leuven. “This can be a excessive price ticket, The robotic system lastly allows us to deal with the reason for the thrombosis within the retina. I look ahead to what’s subsequent: if we succeed, we’ll actually have the ability to make blind individuals see once more.”

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