Aside from the robotics that may be used in advanced laparoscopic surgery, user-friendly non-robotic assistance systems also exist. These are single, hand-guided devices that can help surgeons operate, therefore saving on both time and healthcare costs.
These systems are not associated with the same restrictions as robotic systems. They improve the surgeon’s ability to perform manual tasks.
Some of the features of these non-robotic assistance systems are described below.
- Stabilization of the picture that is transmitted to the television screen. Unless this image is stabilized, the surgeon is unable to view the operative field and proceed safely.
- Some non-robotic systems allow fast repositioning and a very short fixation time (of less than 0.02 seconds) at the desired position.
- The systems may be very lightweight devices, at around 18 kg and able to withstand a force of 20 N in any direction or position.
- Since outer interferences are neutralized by these systems, the surgical team are able to concentrate on the main goals of the surgery.
- These lightweight systems also make mobile medical care easier to implement as they can be carried to remote locations.
- The devices meet many of the demands of single surgeon operations in terms of being robust, easy to operate and versatile.
Reviewed by Sally Robertson, BSc