Eureka Alert says it is “the world’s first super-microsurgical intervention with robot hands”.
A team of plastic surgeons at Maastricht University Medical Center have used a robot to surgically treat a patient with lymphedema.
Lymphedema is a chronic condition in which fluid builds up and causes swelling in parts of the body.
In this particular patient, the swelling was in the arm.
The robotic device was used to suture the vessels of 0.3 to 0.8 millimetres.
The machine was developed by Microsure, a Netherlands company.
Shan Shan Qiu Shao, plastic surgeon at Maastricht University Medical Center, says: “Microsure enables us to be very precise in our movements during procedures that need a surgical microscope.
“Their robot allows us to operate on minuscule lymph vessels and blood vessels with more ease, while getting better results for these complex and fatiguing interventions.
“Besides it is very convenient that, within microsurgery, we can operate on vessels of every size with this robot.
“Most importantly, of course, this is good news for the patients concerned.”
Raimondo Cau, the technical brain of Microsure, says: “We are very pleased and proud that the first intervention using our robot has been a success, and that the surgeons are enthusiastic.
“This proves that our technology is a key breakthrough in improving surgical care.
“As a next step, we aim to assist surgeons during other types of complex microsurgical procedures like tissue reconstructions after removal of a tumor.
“Using our device they will be able to perform surgery with better precision and fewer complications.”