Robot performs prostate surgery inside MRI

Robot performs prostate surgery inside MRI

If the robot masters prostate procedures, brain surgery may be next!

Technology is revolutionizing the medical field with the creation of robotic devices. Robotic surgery, or robot-assisted surgery, allows doctors to perform many types of complex procedures with more precision, flexibility and control than is possible with conventional techniques. Robotic surgery is usually associated with minimally invasive surgery — procedures performed through tiny incisions. It is also sometimes used in certain traditional open surgical procedures.

Robotic surgery with the da Vinci Surgical System was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2000. The technique has been rapidly adopted by hospitals in the United States and Europe for use in the treatment of a wide range of conditions.

Inside an MRI scanner, a plastic and piezoelectric robot goes to work on a prostate
(Photo credit: Gregory Fischer/WPI)

Researchers are developing a robot made from plastic and ceramic motors that can perform surgery on a patient inside a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine where metal is a no-no. The robot, developed by Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Johns Hopkins University has been used in trials on more than a dozen patients needing prostate biopsies. 

Explore further in IEEE Spectrum

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