Steady hands are a necessity for all surgeons, but what happens when that necessity exceeds that of a human doctor’s abilities?
The answer appears to lie within robotics, as British surgeons this week “successfully performed the world’s first robotic operation inside the eye, potentially revolutionizing the way such conditions are treated,” the Guardian reported. The surgery, which took place in Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital by Professor Robert MacLaren, was performed on a patient who had a membrane growing on the surface of his retina, “which had contracted and pulled it into an uneven shape. The membrane is about a 100th of a millimeter thick and needed to be dissected off the retina without damaging it.”
While MacLaren told the Guardian that current laser scanner and microscope technology allows doctors to monitor retinal diseases, “the things we see are beyond the physiological limit of what the human hand can operate on.”
On the surgery’s success, MacLaren said “there is no doubt in my mind that we have just witnessed a vision of eye surgery in the future.”