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A Robot Has Performed Eye Surgery on Humans for the First Time


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The robot is guided by the surgeon.

Researchers at the University of Oxford in the U.K., working with Dutch medical robotics firm Preceye, have developed a robot that can perform eye surgery on humans.

Credit: University of Oxford

Researchers at the University of Oxford in the U.K., working with Dutch medical robotics firm Preceye, have developed a robot that can perform eye surgery on humans.

The team used the robot to help six participants who needed a membrane removed from their retina to improve their vision. The procedure involves excising a collection of cells that have clumped together.

The robot has a moveable arm directed using a joystick-style controller; it can be fitted with various surgical instruments, and filters out tremors from the surgeon's hand.

Twelve participants received the surgery, with six being worked on by the robot, and six receiving treatment from a human surgeon; all the operations were deemed successful.

Although the robotic approach took nearly three times as long as performing the surgery manually, the researchers attribute this to the fact that the surgeons were new to using the robot and were being cautious.

From New Scientist
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