WITH the assistance of a robot called ORTHBOT, Zhou Wenyu, chief orthopedic surgeon from Shenzhen No. 2 People’s Hospital, and Yu Miao, an orthopedic surgeon from Peking University Third Hospital, recently performed the first robot-aided spinal surgery of its kind in the city.
The surgery also marks the first time that a domestically produced robot has been used in a spinal surgery. The operation took only 1.5 hours, which is about one hour shorter than the surgery without a robot.
In addition, X-ray exposure during the process was decreased by nearly 80 percent, which greatly reduced the surgical risks for both the doctors and the patient. Currently, the patient is in stable condition. He was able to get out of bed and take a walk a day after the surgery.
During the operation, the robot automatically inserted the guide pins after Zhou planned the positions of the pedicle screws on the computer. Yu then inserted the screws in accordance with the guide pins.
Although the robot can precisely imitate a person’s hand movements, the whole process was still monitored and controlled in real time by doctors through an “artificial eye,” according to Shenzhen No. 2 People’s Hospital.
Liu Zhongjun, a doctor from Peking University Third Hospital, said robot-aided spinal surgery is a big step forward in the orthopedics field taking advantage of artificial intelligence.
Liu believes the orthopedic surgical robot will be further developed in the future. “Maybe one day a doctor won’t need to enter the operating room and the surgery will almost be done during a coffee break,” he said.
The robot was jointly developed by medical teams from Shenzhen No. 2 People’s Hospital, Peking University Third Hospital, Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hospital, Huashan Hospital Affiliated to Fudan University, Nanfang Hospital and Shenzhen Xinjunte Smart Medical Equipment Co. Ltd.